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First Aid for International Families in Crisis

Open borders and easy travelling give rise to many international couples who get married. Coexistence of two people coming from different cultures may however present specific difficulties. Resolving such situations becomes even more complicated if children are involved.

It is important to know that according to the Hague convention one parent may not without the consent of the other arbitrarily leave with the child for another country nor may they stay in another country against the will of the other parent. Subjective impression is not decisive. The decisive thing is the legal situation.

If you are about to leave the country, the agreement with the other parent is always on the top of the list.  In case the agreement is impossible, try to contact organizations and institutions that may give you advice, including the local Czech mission.

If the reason for you and your child´s departure for another country is domestic violence, it is essential to collect evidentiary material required. Report everything to the doctor, police, local social security office, contact an asylum house or one of the non-profit organizations.

In case you decide to leave the country, you should try to moderate the consequences of your act, for example by demonstrating an effort to reach an agreement and to resolve the issue with your partner. In such a case, assistance of a mediator might be helpful (Association of Mediators in the Czech Republic http://www.amcr.cz). Contact the relevant bodies, particularly the department of social protection of children at the town authority in the place of your residence and ask for assistance and advice in dealing with your situation.

In case your partner left the country with the child, he clearly violated parental rights as well as the rights of the child. The Hague Convention, which applies in the Czech Republic, makes it possible for you to request assistance from relevant bodies to recover the child (in the Czech Republic the Office for International Legal Protection of Children in Brno http://www.umpod.cz).

For detailed information please open the brochure issued by the Ministry of Justice of the Czech Republic.