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familylawexpert
familylawexpert, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 311
Experience:  Substantial experience (14yrs +) in divorce, financial cases, cohabitation, pre-nuptial agreements and civil partnerships.
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My daughter, Madison, who is 14 in December currently lives

Resolved Question:

My daughter, Madison, who is 14 in December currently lives in Spain with her mother and her husband. I live in the UK with my partner and other daughter, Misha, who is 18.

My ex wife went to live in Spain some 5 years ago taking Madison to live with her and leaving my Misha to live with me.

I have two older children who are married, one lives near me with the other being a memeber of the armed services.

My daughter Madison has now said she wishes to live with me, she has had a difficult time at school over the years although I would not wish to paint a picture worse than it is she has siad she has had enough of the bullying.

My ex wife informed my daughter that she could come back to live with me, this was a complete surpries as she has always refused this in the past. The concern is that a couple of days after this seemingly change of heart she has again refused to let Madison live with me.

I am not able to discuss this with my ex as she refuses to now engage with me.

Could you advise where I stand. My daughter is due to come to the UK on holiday with me in August, she has stated she will refuse to fly back to Spain.

I am in a senior position within the Prison Service and as such would not consider doing something that is likely to be illegal orcontribute to causing embarrassment to the Prison Service.

I would like to know what is required to resolve this, I dearly want Madison to live with me. All Madisons siblings, aunts, uncles and neices live here in the UK. There are no family members in Spain.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  familylawexpert replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

My name is Mac. I can help you with your question.

The strict, by the book, legal answer is that Madison is resident in Spain and so any questions concerning where she is to live should be decided by the Spanish Court system (in the absence of agreement between you and her mother).

If you were to bring her over to England on the agreement that it was for a holiday and then refuse to return her the Hague Convention in respect of the abduction of children would apply, and she should be ultimately returned to Spain within a year for the Spanish Court to decide what is best (per my first paragraph above).

However, if she came to the UK of her own volition, and you did not prevent her from returning but instead said that you were allowing her to return if that was what she wanted, then the position in relation to the Hague Convention would be a lot less clear. If when she arrived in England she saw a solicitor of her own volition and instructed that solicitor that she did not want to return (it is permissible for children to instruct their own solicitors in the UK), then ultimately I would expect that she would be successful in staying here.

Please do ask any further follow-up clarification if you like, but I hope that has been helpful.

Regards,
Mac
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