ENSURING THE SAFE RETURN OF CHILDREN WHERE ISSUES SUCH AS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND ABUSE ARE RAISED
An existing finding by the courts of the requesting State that violence or abuse has occurred would be a material factor.
The court may indicate that a return order will not be made unless undertakings are in place to facilitate and safeguard the return of the child and returning parent and to ensure their welfare pending the courts of the requesting State being seized with the issues. Such undertakings are annexed to or recorded as recitals to the return order.
Undertakings are commonly used in order to ensure the safe return of the child and to safeguard the childs welfare pending the courts of the requesting State being seized with the issues. They can be directed at issues such as:
- a prohibition on the requesting parent seeking to remove the child from the care and control of the returning parent pending any decision by the court of the requesting State;
- protection for the returning parent/child against the use or threat of violence or the use of harassment by the requesting parent;
- provision for the childs maintenance and accommodation pending any decision by the court of the requesting State;
- provision for the travel costs for the childs return;
- no criminal charges;
- exclusive use of the family home by the defendant and child;
- agreement that proceedings be issued either by the applicant or the returning party in relation to the protection of the child / returning parent, custody and all other issues pertaining to the parties to be brought upon the immediate return of the returning parent / child to the country of origin.