With the increasing commonality of divorce involving children, a pattern of abnormal behaviour has emerged that has received little attention. The present paper defines the Divorce Related Malicious Mother Syndrome. Specific nosologic criteria are provided with abundant clinical examples. Given the lack of scientific data available on the disorder, issues of classification, aetiology, treatment, and prevention appear ripe for investigation.
A divorced man gains custody of his children and his ex-wife burns down his home. A woman in a custody battle buys a cat for her offspring because her divorcing husband is highly allergic to cats. A mother forces her children to sleep in a car to “prove” their father has bankrupted them. The actions illustrate a pattern of abnormal behaviour that has emerged as the divorce rate involving children has grown.
Today, half of all marriages will end in divorce (Beal and Hochman, 1991). The number of children involved in divorce has grown dramatically (e.g., Hetherington and Arastah, 1988) as well. While the majority of such cases are “settled” from a legal perspective, outside the courtroom the battle continues.
Parents, unhappy with Family Court custody decisions, are kidnapping their own children, and are using family, friends and other resources to stay under the radar.
The parents left behind, who are legally entitled to custody of their children, are having to dip into their own pockets to ask the courts to hear their applications for recovery orders.
The Family Court and Federal Circuit Court of Australia in Queensland are issuing about three recovery orders a week, with 156 of the “last resort” orders made in the last financial year – the most in the country.
Applications for them are considered urgent, but depending on how busy the court is, orders can take days or weeks to be heard.
It is understood that once a recovery order is made most parents co-operate, however some continue to hide their children from authorities.
Brozzi Lunetta said he wrote and produced fictional film Reya, named after his 11-year-old daughter, since losing faith in the Australian authorities to locate her.
Reya was abducted by her mother, Camilla Ellefsen, from the US amid a bitter custody battle in 2002.
Ms Ellefsen, 40, fled with Reya to Norway and India before arriving in Perth in February 2004 on a Norwegian passport.
There has since been a string of possible sightings in south-east Queensland and northern NSW.
“Reya’s birthday (last June) and the 10-year anniversary of her abduction were incredibly difficult,” Mr Lunetta said.
“I’m holding on but it’s been a pretty exhausting experience.
“The reason I want to share my life story is so that my daughter can find me.”
AN Australian woman who kidnapped her two children from the UK and fled to Australia has won the right to live here with them permanently, despite a judge ruling her behaviour “abysmal”.
The dental nurse abducted the couple’s children, aged 4 and 5, when her marriage broke down, taking them from their home in East Sussex to Melbourne without telling her British sports masseur husband.
A judge at London’s High Court has ruled the children should live in Australia, despite the “abysmal” and “cruel” way the 34-year-old had treated her estranged husband when she disappeared to the other side of the world with their young children.
In a judgment made public yesterday, Mr Justice Mostyn said in the interests of the children – who cannot be named for legal reasons – he had decided not to punish their mother for her “high-handed, selfish and autocratic” conduct, and to “shut out his strong feelings of sympathy” for the youngsters’ father.
“This was an open and shut case of child abduction,” Justice Mostyn said.
The grandmother of three (sic) girls at the centre of a high-profile international custody dispute has lost her legal case against Channel 9 to stop 60 Minutes from featuring her image in a story aired last Sunday night.
The story has been heavily promoted by Nine this week and claims to reveal the father’s side of the story for the first time.
The three (sic) girls were sent to live with their father in Italy last month after their mother lost her custody case in the Family Court of Australia.
At an urgent interlogatory injunction in Victoria’s Supreme Court last Friday afternoon, the grandmother sought to have her image removed from the story due to fears for her safety and reputation.
[Ed: In my opinion, her attempt to destroy the 60 Minutes story had nothing to do with safety concerns, and everything to do with the fact that she was publicly exposed as a malicious, dishonest and abusive woman who exploited her grandchildren for her own misguided self-interest.]
Yesterday on radio station 3AW, Derryn Hinch finally confessed to what many people have long suspected, that he was a child abuser. The previous accusations of child sexual abuse levelled against him were less than convincing, coming from an aggrieved ex-wife whom the Courts determined had knowingly manufactured injuries to the child, in order to win full custody, but on Hinch’s radio program yesterday, all doubt was gone when Hinch effectively admitted to being a child abuser.
If only justice could be so poetic. The above paragraph is an attempt at poetic license, taking a sad and sorry tale and highlighting who the real abuser is. Yes, Derryn Hinch, in my opinion, is a child abuser, but perhaps not in the traditional sense of the term.
The normally confidential Family Court is so worried that it has released photos of the youngster, pleading for help to find her.
Annaleise Harris-Edwards has been missing now for a month.
During recent Family Court proceedings, the Court found that the father of Annaleise Harris-Edwards was falsely accused of child sexual abuse by the mother. On 8 October 2012 the Family Court of Australia ordered that 4 year old Annaleise Grace Harris-Edwards (DOB 20 December 2007) live with her father.
The father subsequently went to collect the child from a Sydney childcare centre after the Court hearing, only to find that she was nowhere to be seen.
Child abduction in Taiwan. A father relates his situation to that of Darth Vader who was robbed of his children and will search the galaxy to find them. Although to some this video may appear as a joke. It is not. It is a way to bring attention to a dire situation that the law is turning a blind eye to. By using an infamous character that everyone will know it will give it attention.
This is a True Story. One of many. People may not know it, but parental child abduction in Taiwan (especially against foreign fathers and mothers) is a serious problem and a criminal offense in most countries. In Taiwan however justice seems blind or unwilling to prosecute the Taiwanese offenders when there is a foreign parent involved.
So please support this video and help say ‘NO!’ to this illegal activity and support children’s rights. And at the same time, maybe you can help find these missing children (who are Australian Citizens). Thankyou.
Wollongong solicitor Paul Donnelly said his client was happy and relieved his daughters were back in their family home in the Tuscan countryside, ending a bitter international custody battle.
Mr Donnelly said the man did not mind if the mother returned to Italy, where they shared custody of the girls before she brought them to Australia in 2010.
“I think he wanted what was best for his children,” he said.
“She will resume her parenting rights just as before. He just wanted them back home.”
In June last year, I ordered the return of four children to Italy, where they had lived all their lives until they were brought to this country by their mother and wrongfully retained here against their father’s wishes.
After their father, who thought the children had been brought here for a four week holiday, learned that the girls were not going to be returned to Italy by their mother, he invoked the provisions of the Convention of the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction signed at The Hague in the Netherlands in 1980. Australia and Italy are but two of many states that have signed the Convention and enacted it into their own domestic law. Unsurprisingly, the father desperately wanted the children returned home to Italy and the Italian Government took steps to have the Australian Government bring proceedings in this Court, through the responsible authority here in Queensland, for their return pursuant to that Hague Convention.