As Greece is a favorite holiday destination for so many foreigners there will always be international relationships formed with Greek citizens which in turn will lead to parental abductions.
2017 Annual Report on International Child Abduction. (source US State Department)
“Central Authority: The United States and the Greek Central Authority have a strong and productive relationship that facilitates the implementation of the Convention. There were no new cases filed with the FCA in 2016, nor were there any cases on file with the FCA during the year. Additionally, there were no cases that were unresolved for more than 12 months.”
Above is a statement from the US State Department relating to Greece. We currently have 2 cases on our books, and several more enquiries, relating to the US and Greece abductions. Is this a case of victim parents now avoiding reporting their children being abducted to the Central Authority? Is there a distrust in the ability of the Central Authority to act and with a sense of urgency? As time goes on and with more and more cases occuring there is no confidence in the system any longer prompting a need for a drastic change in order to help abducted children and their left behind parent.
Parents who abduct children and flee to Greece know how to take full advantage of the Family Law System there and work it to their favour. Take the case Of Michael Beshara, whose two children were taken to Greece by his ex wife to visit a “dying uncle”. Before the end of their scheduled stay, the ex wife wrote to Michael saying they would not be returning for an extra 10 weeks. So the clock is ticking and by the time Michael is advised that his children will not be coming home more than three months has passed. Following all the right channels through the Central Authority and lodging an application for the Hague Convention, Michael did not anticipate the lengthy wait for his hearing in the Greek Courts. By the time his application was heard, his ex wife came in with the ultimate defence of all abductors – Article 12 of the Hague Convention. As the process had dragged on for over 12 months her claim that as the children resided in Greece for more than 12 months it was now their habitual residence – DESPITE the fact that they had been living in Australia for the first 10 + years of their life. The judge accepted Greece as the habitual residence and Michael was forced to return home alone. Time and time again judges accept this Article 12 as a defence not comprehending that it is their overworked systems that are technically aiding and abetting the Abductors.
Victim parents can not rely on The Hague Convention to have their children returned even if both countries are signatures to the Hague and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
CARI knows first hand that fighting through the Greek family courts is a tough, expensive and a very timely obstacle. Greek courts are notorious for ‘taking care of their own’ in cases of IPCA. Unfortunately this is a common theme in many many countries.
Again as we always do, advise you to get yourself an experienced lawyer. Please ask the lawyer for proof of their experience if they say they are experts in IPCA cases. So many lawyer will say they are but in fact they are not experienced at all dealing with International Parental Child Abduction cases.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding International Parental Child Abduction feel free to contact CARI Child Abduction Recovery International 24/7. We are always available at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling our CEO Adam Whittington directly +46 707385598
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