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Recovery of children from an ex-spouse

After her two children were not returned following Christmas with their father, a distraught young mother called Marriott Oliver for assistance.

Situation

After her two children were not returned following Christmas with their father, a distraught young mother called Marriott Oliver for assistance.

A Marriott Oliver partner arranged to see her the same day.

The children had lived with their mother since their parents’ separation six years prior, but there was no order in place concerning their care.

Their father had taken the children to his mother’s home in Sydney for Christmas and was due to return them on Friday. At the father’s request the stay was extended to Saturday. When the mother spoke to the eldest child on Sunday, he said that his father was taking them to stay with an uncle in South Australia, and that he was scared his father wasn’t going to bring them back home.

Strategy

Marriott Oliver called the father and his response was that they were his children and he would do what he liked with them.
The mother only knew scant details about the uncle, and was distressed because she had no idea where he lived in South Australia.

We immediately swung into action and completed an application and affidavit that same day asking the Family Court to make orders for the children to live with their mother and that the Federal Police be empowered to locate the children and return them to her care.

By 5pm that same day, we obtained the orders and faxed them to the Federal Police.

Success

The morning after we first met with the young mother, the police had located the children at the Uncle’s home. They had covertly observed the children playing in the back yard and let us know they were safe.

The mother joined the police in South Australia and recovered her children. They were home in their own beds by Thursday night.