Every Father’s Nightmare

Two B.C. fathers were awarded sole custody of their children in Canada – but the mothers abducted the kids and took them to Europe, and they’re getting away with it:

Two Canadian fathers whose children were allegedly abducted by their mothers and taken to European countries say authorities have done little to try to enforce court orders and bring them back.

“I’m holding my hands up going, ‘Can somebody please do something about this?'” said Calum Hughes, whose five-year-old daughter Livia was allegedly abducted by her mother from B.C. and taken to Italy in 2009.

The latest RCMP figures show there were 237 reports of parental abduction in Canada in 2009 and 41 per cent of the children were under the age of five.

More than half the cases were resolved or withdrawn within a day. RCMP spokesperson Julie Gagnon said she didn’t know how many of the remaining children were taken to other countries.

She said when there is a warrant, as in the Hughes case, the RCMP can ask Interpol to put a “red notice” in the system, so the alleged abductor could be arrested at any border crossing.

She said, depending on the country and the case, extradition can also be initiated.

However, Hughes said he heard nothing from the RCMP after a charge was laid against his ex-wife two years ago.

Both fathers made Hague applications. Italy refused to send Livia home, though, because the court believed his Italian ex-wife’s assertion that Hughes was an unfit father, allegations that were rejected by a Canadian court.

“That’s all needless details and garbage,” said Hughes. “I’ve spent over a hundred thousand dollars and how many hours in court. I’ve ended up with nothing in terms of a relationship with my daughter. ”

Mezo’s application is stalled in the Hungarian court system, which has sympathized with the Hungarian-born mother of his son.

“The Hungarian court said that ‘well there is no warrant out for her. She didn’t do anything wrong in Canada. So therefore we take it all with a grain of salt whatever the judge ordered in Canada,'” said Mezo.

If you have reason to believe the other parent is planning to flee the province with your child, get a lawyer to make an emergency application for an non-removal order.  Once they’re in another jurisdiction, the process instantly becomes more time-consuming, complicated, expensive and emotionally exhausting.

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