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Children caught in cross-border custody battle

Two Canadian children and their parents are currently engaged in a custody battle that crosses the nation's borders. The latest ruling of an appeals court, in this case, is that the children should return to another country, where their father is living.

The case is complex because it's not simply a matter of one parent absconding with children to another country. In this case, the parents were living in Germany when the two children were born. Nonetheless, the two children are Canadian citizens.

The parents split up and the father reportedly had interim custody. The mother wanted to bring the children back to Canada for school, and the father signed a letter transferring temporary custody to the mother for this purpose. However, once in Canada, the mother reportedly wanted to stay, and the father sought to have the children returned to Germany.

The courts have been divided on the issue, with various level courts providing different rulings. The mother says that she will continue to bring it to appeals at higher levels. At this point, the court is saying the children must be returned to Germany because of the Hague Convention. The Hague Convention is meant to stop parents from kidnapping and carrying children to other countries.

In this particular case, the courts seem to be divided on whether the Hague Convention applies because the father originally agreed to the move. The children have also lived, gone to school and made friends in Canada these past three years. The children themselves reportedly objected to a move back to Germany.

If you are dealing with custody issues across any border, then legal assistance is probably important. Custody issues are almost always complex, and when the laws of various jurisdictions are at play, they can be difficult to comprehend.

Source: CBC News, "Court orders 2 Canadian children to move to Germany with father," Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press, Sep. 13, 2016

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