The child has the right to live in the country where he or she has lived so far if both parents don’t agree otherwise.

  • Did Mum or Dad take you to a different country than the one you have lived in until now?
  • Does your other parent disagree with that move? Do they not even know about it?
  • Are you hiding from your mum or dad in another country?
  • Are you unhappy that you had to move to another country?

Do you have any of these questions?

Then we might help. Every case is different, so we’d like to know more about you and your family.

Contact us and we will write back and tell you what we can do for you.

Ahmed’s story (age 6)

Ahmed is lived with his parents in Turkey. His mum and dad argued a lot and often shouted at each other. One day, Mum told Ahmed that they would go to see his grandma in the Czech Republic, and the following day, they were already sitting on the plane…

Ahmed didn’t even say goodbye to his dad, who was at work at the time. In the Czech Republic, Ahmed and his mum stayed with his grandma. Soon, he learned that they would not go back to Turkey because Mum was looking for a job in the Czech Republic, and she didn’t want to see Dad anymore because she didn’t enjoy the time spent with him.

When Ahmed’s dad found out, he was very sad and angry. He wanted Ahmed to go back to Turkey, and even came to the Czech Republic for him. But by then, they no longer lived with his grandma, and Ahmed’s grandma didn’t want to tell his dad where Mum and Ahmed lived.

Dad turned to Umpod for help. In case a child is moved to another country, both parents need to agree. Dad had not given his consent to the move, and so he asked the court to return Ahmed to Turkey.

Dad tried to contact Ahmed’s mom via Umpod. He wanted to make an arrangement, but Ahmed’s mum didn’t want to go back to Turkey. Meanwhile, Ahmed has started to attend the first year of school here. The family is still waiting for the court to decide.

Tobias and Sára’s story, (ages 8 and 10)

Tobias and his sister Sára lived with their parents in the Czech Republic. When their parents divorced, the children continued to live with their mum in the Czech Republic and went to Canada on various holidays to see their dad. This situation lasted about 3 years. Their dad said that it would be better if they both moved to Canada to live with him because he could arrange a better school there. He also said that now that they were bigger, they should spend more time with him, since they had mostly been with their mum before then.

The children loved Canada very much. After the last holidays, Dad told the kids they would stay with him and go to school in Canada to improve their English and French. Tobias and Sára were surprised, but because they liked Canada, they said why not. But they had no clue that their mum didn’t know about this plan.

When Mum learned about it, she couldn’t even get in touch with Dad and the kids, and she was very upset. Sára and Tobias both started to miss their Mum. When they finally contacted her on Skype, Tobias found out that Mum disagreed with them moving to Canada and would fight the decision. He didn’t know what to think. He loved both his dad and his mum. He liked the Czech Republic, where he went to school before, but he also liked Canada and already had friends there.

Mom turned to Umpod and started to deal with it through the courts. We told her that if either of the parents disagrees with the children moving to another country, the children should live where they have been used to living until now. Tobias and Sára have been in Canada for 5 months now and are still waiting for the court to decide.

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Why are Umpod and the courts involved?

When Mum or Dad takes a child to another country, and the other parent doesn’t know about it or does not give consent, then the law calls it “international parental abduction.” This term also applies when when Mum or Dad doesn’t return a child from abroad at the agreed time (after holidays or vacation).

Both parents have to agree where their child will live. If the parents can’t agree, then the child should live where they have lived until now and where they have been used to living.

Sometimes a child doesn’t like it when they move to a new country and have to say goodbye to everything they know. Sometimes they miss their previous home. But sometimes they look forward to going to a new country. Sometimes they have already made friends in the new place and don't want to come back.

Either way, the other parent may complain to a court and may apply for the return of the children to the country where they lived before. 

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Solution by agreement

Umpod first suggests the parents a consultation. This means one or more sessions where everyone may present his/her opinion, and they all try to agree without the necessity of a court hearing.

If the parents can come to an agreement, that’s great. The court will usually confirm their agreement. If they disagree, then it is up to the judge to decide about the children.

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What happens at the court?

The judge will find out what Mum and Dad want and will also find out what the children want. So that the judge can find out what the children want, he may invite them directly to the court or will ask a social worker or us (Umpod) to do so.

The judge can also ask an independent adult – a guardian ad litem – what would be best for the child. The guardian ad litem is either Umpod or a social worker. If we (Umpod) act as the guardian, we try not to take sides with Mum or Dad, but instead try to find a solution which would be the best for the child. We then submit our opinion to the court.

The judge will think through all the options and finally decide. He or she will determine where and with whom the child will live, as well as how the child will see the other parent.

If Mum or Dad doesn’t like the judge’s decision, they can appeal. It may take a long time, but another court will examine everything once again, and determine whether the first court decision was all right or whether it needs to change. If the parents do not appeal, the decision stands.

Every case is a bit different. If you’re wondering what might happen in your case, the best thing to do is to contact us directly.

For more information about court hearings,

click here