Madonna and her former husband Guy Ritchie are in the midst of a transatlantic custody battle over the parties’ 15 year old son Rocco.
Legal proceedings began when after Rocco left Madonna’s world tour in December and went to live with his father in London.
Madonna claimed that Rocco had lived with her in New York since she divorced Mr Ritchie in 2008. Attempts by the singer to get her son to return to her care were unsuccessful, and she took the matter to a New York Court in December. The Court made a ruling that Rocco should be returned to his mother’s custody but this was ignored by the teenager.
The matter has been adjourned until later in the year by the US Courts and today it has since been reported that Madonna has issued further proceedings in the English Court for the return of her son. The US Judge dealing with the case urged both parties to “consider what is the best interests of their son”
It might surprise you to hear that most child abduction cases in the UK do not involve strangers. Parental child abduction has become a more common problem in recent years than most of us would like to believe.
Parental child abduction is an issue which has been addressed by the Courts on an international level. The 1980 ‘Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction’ is an agreement between various countries which aims to ensure the return of an abducted child to the country where he or she normally lives, so that issues of residence (custody) and contact (access) can be decided by the Courts of that country.
It is important for any parent to be aware of their rights under The Hague Convention and the legal proceedings they can issue to ensure the return of their child should the unthinkable happen.
You should seek legal advice as soon as possible if you are worried that:
- Your child has been abducted from overseas to Northern Ireland
- Your child has been abducted from Northern Ireland and taken abroad
- You are being accused of abducting your child
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