As Martin has probably informed you, the most pressing issue in the dispute between Martin and his wife, Olga, is Olga’s removal of the Children from oted Kingdom to Russia without his consent. She’d brought the Children to Russia, left them with her parents and returned to United Kingdom herself.
As background, Olga had in filed an application for sole custody, care and control of the Children with supervised access to Martin. Martin had then filed a cross application for joint custody, care and control of the children with reasonable access to Olga. Olga removed the Children from United Kingdom after this.
To remedy Olga’s removal of the Children, we filed an application for urgent return of the Children to United Kingdom, and for their passports to be held by us. The Court granted this application and ordered that Olga bring the Children back to United Kingdom.
Then Olga went to the United Kingdom court on her own and filed a notice of intention to act in person without informing her solicitors of this. At the same time, she tendered a handwritten letter to court withdrawing her application for custody, care and control of the children in UK, stating that she believes Russia is the more appropriate forum to adjudicate these issues. She also wrote that she has filed divorce proceedings in Russia.
The UK court responded by fixing a case conference for Olga and parties’ lawyers to attend. Olga failed to turn up.
We pushed for the hearing for the custody applications to stand. The court directed the same.
At the new hearing Olga again did not turn up. We submitted that the Court has the power and should hear the application even in Olga’s absence. The Court heard the matter on merits and granted an order in terms of our application.
Olga has to date not complied with the return order and Martin understands that she has left to Russia to be with the Children and is hesitant to return to United Kingdom for fear of sanctions for her breach of the return order.
We believe the necessary substantive orders have been obtained from the United Kingdom Courts. What is necessary now is for these orders to be recognized and enforced in Russia. Could you please let us have your advice on what needs to be done and how we can assist in the Russian Process?
Please feel free to let us know if you require more information or clarification. We look forward to working with you.
The Russian Federation joined to the two relevant Hague Convention:
1. Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction dated on October 25, 1980. Both countries, the Russian Federation and Singapore, are participants of this Convention.
2. Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-operation in Respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children dated of October 19, 1996. The Russian Federation is participant of this convention. I know that United Kingdom is participant too.
According to my professional opinion, the Hague Convention dated on 1996 is more strong, and it will be better to use this way. However, we can use both Conventions at the same time. We can file two separate actions.
In any case, we need to open legal action in the Russian Federation as soon as possible. I am looking forward to work with you.