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Can a left behind parent recover costs after children are returned to US?

Discussion in 'Alternative Dispute Resolution' started by 2geez68, Sep 3, 2007.

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  1. 2geez68

    2geez68 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Wondering if anyone can help me to get on track to find out the following:

    1. Has a left behind parent ever successfully sued a taking parent after the Hague Court sent them home to the USA?

    2. Is there any victim programs that help a left behind parent recover the costs of getting their children returned to the USA.

    The case I'm asking about is one in which the mother took the children to Australia to visit her family and one week before their return sent an email to the husband/father that she would not be returning and not to contact her. Dad hired an attorney, filed under the hague convention and after hearings and appeals were finished the children were returned.

    It took a total of 17 months and mothers "grave risk" defense was that 2 of the children were deaf and that the services for deaf children in Texas would put them in grave risk. In addition if she were forced to return she would become unwell and not be able to care for the children.

    The judge was harsh in his final order due to several lies on moms part and mom having a significant amount of money in a couple of bank accounts in tasmania that she did not disclose. She had to sign an admission of fraud in Australia because she attempted to collect and did collect welfare that she was not entitled to. She had asked for $70,000 from dad to be put in escrow for her as a condition of return. The judge denied it but did suggest that Dad pay the flights for the kids to expedite the process. Which even tho it wasn't ordered he did. Now the NCMEC reimbursed him for the flights but she stalled as long as possible to get those kids home.

    Additionally, she allowed her US visa to expire stalling the return more. In fact, dad had to send the central authority and her attorneys a letter reminding them that the Judge in Australia did not order mom to return only the children and that if she did not have her visa sorted within a week that he would come and collect the children as he had missed 2 christmas's with them and would not miss another. She had her visa the next day AND the kids arrived December 22, 2006 being gone for 17 months.

    The kids are young. They were 3 and 1 and not born yet when they left. The tow oldest had just turned 5 and 3 when they returned and the youngest was 15 months. Dad was pretty persistant on having contact, forcing webcam and phone visits. As a result even the baby was very receptive to him but the kids are having different issues due to the seperation and dad has been financially and emotionally devestated. His two oldest boys from a different marriage also suffered.

    Bottom line is that in financial costs alone it has cost dad over $60,000 in legal and other fees just to get these kids returned. Now the divorce has been expensive too but expected. The costs associated with mom taking the kids should not have happened. Mom's defense was beyond rediculous and there are several audio's of her saying that she really took the kids because dad cheated on her about 1 year before this time and that she didn't love him anymore. She also says on one audio that he can not afford her to return to the usa.

    Thats all the info I will put in this as I just want to know what the options are to recover the past costs. I would be very appreciative if someone can point us in the right direction for both the questions above.


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