Sunday, January 3, 2010

International Child Abduction

It's been a while, but I'm pretty sure every one can sort of recall the whole child abduction case that hit our shores (Malaysia, not Miami). It was a custody battle between Malaysian, Elis Syuhaila Mokhtar and Belgian, Frank Van de Ven (one of not so good looking Dutch men I've seen throughout my life).
Moving on, Elis was already granted custody rights by the Shariah Court. However, Frank (intelligently or stupidly, I can not decide here) took the child, Ferris, under the pretext of visitation rights and out for a holiday but managed to disappear out of the country- with the child.
Even more miraculously, Ferris' passport was with the mother.
Which brings me to the question, how dependable is the Hague Convention in protecting custody rights?
Well it is pretty dependable, but look at what's going on now.
Maybe Elis should have asked for a ne exeat writ. Frank wouldn't be able to escape as he's prevented from leaving the country.
Unfortunately, most of us are not educated in international marriages, our rights if (God forbid) anything goes wrong..
With globalization and very good looking Dutch guys, international marriages are definitely on the rise and one must educate oneself and do all in one's efforts to protect one's rights (if say the marriage ends and for your custody rights)
Even if you're not getting married to a foreign national, it could be a friend or a close relative.
I'm not here to condemn international marriages, in fact I support it.
But by all means, one must always take precaution as to their legal rights.
Just a little thought that crossed the mind.. =)