Allegations of double abduction in child custody proceeding

On behalf of Gary Kirk of Kirk Montoute LLP posted in Family Law on Sunday, August 9, 2015.

There is no question that child custody matters can be the most difficult to face when a relationship ends. Things can get even more complicated when one of the parents takes a child to another country without permission. When this happens, depending on the country the child is taken to, it can be very difficult to bring the young person back. A mother in Calgary knows this all too well.

The woman faced this nightmare when her ex-husband took her now 8-year-old boy, to Lebanon. Though the woman provided permission for her son to visit the country for a vacation, after they left, she discovered that her ex-husband sold some property, vacated his house and cancelled the tickets that had been purchased to return to Calgary. When she went to the police, a nationwide warrant was issued for her ex-husband’s arrest. She also secured an order under which she had sole custody of her son.

Despite securing these things in Canada, the woman faced an uphill battle. This is because, since Lebanon is not a part of the Hague Convention, the court order issued in Calgary did not have any authority. The woman ended up voyaging to Lebanon herself and hiring a lawyer there. She said she agreed to quash the sole custody order issued in Calgary in order to gain access to her son. She ended up bringing her son back to Calgary, according to her ex-husband’s lawyer, in violation of the agreement entered into in Lebanon.

A court in Calgary is slated to hear the case at which point the boy’s mother is seeking to regain full custody. How the court will rule regarding the matter remains to be seen.

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