International parental kidnapping: 4 years in prison
Christmas is a particularly terrible time for many divorced couples with children, when they are deprived of the company of their children because of the decision they have adopted in a judge in relation to the custody of the children. This situation becomes tragic in the case of the so-called parental kidnapping, an offense classified in the Penal Code, which takes place when one of the parents takes the child or the children, and that has increased in recent years, due to the increase of couples formed by Spaniards and foreigners.
Causes of the increase in marriages between Spaniards and foreigners
And it is because of the effect of globalization, Marriages between Spaniards and foreigners are experiencing a singular increase. Thus, according to the data of the National Institute of Statistics, in the first semester of 2016 25.289 marriages of this type were celebrated in our country, 3,741 more than the total registered during 2014. The causes of this increase are based on the increase of migratory flows, on new routes of online communication, on the cheapening of tourism costs, and above all, on the facilities for marriage offered by the Spanish state.
The lawyer Alejandra García, expert in Family Law of the firm Le Morne Brabant Lawyers explains that "in the face of the obstacles that must be overcome in other countries of the European Union, within our borders it is enough to certify the registration or residence of the foreign spouse. Whenever he is single or has divorce papers in order, he can get married, under the Constitutional Law set forth in Article 32 ".
After a marriage breakdown, in the case of marriages between Spaniards and foreigners, the problem becomes worse when one of the parents has no roots in the host country, does not have or can not find a job, or simply does not comply with the court ruling. to the custody of the children.
When we talk about international parental kidnapping
International parental kidnapping occurs when the foreign parent decides to leave the country taking the children, without warning and in a brilliant way. Sometimes, it also happens when he has requested permission to travel with his children, the judge has denied it, and ignoring this refusal the parent decides to take the children.
However, everything depends on what was agreed in the divorce. Thus, according to Alejandra García, "it depends on what is established in the court decision, although it is usual for the ruling to determine that the trip can only be made in case of authorization of both spouses or, failing that, judicial authorization. Sometimes, even prohibits the issuance of a passport on behalf of minors, to avoid international kidnapping of them. "
Other case of international parental abduction is that it occurs when the children disappear and the trip had been authorized. In this situation, "the protection mechanisms established in the relative international laws of minors are put into play, specifically the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Abduction of Minors and the internal laws that are developed in each country," he explains. The lawyer.
What to do in case of international parental kidnapping
Always and in the first place the complaint of the disappearance of the minor must be filed before the competent Spanish authorities. It is worth remembering that time is the key to the good conclusion of the case and that is whythe courts must also work with maximum speed, since there is a term of six weeks for the filing of the lawsuit by the courts to the lawyers of the child's country of destination.
The Hague Convention is the treaty that monitors the rights of minors subjected to international kidnapping, to guarantee your immediate return. Currently, worldwide 111 countries have signed this agreement, so that in most of the occasions the return of the children is achieved.
An affirmation that corroborates the figures of the National Police corps: of the 7,968 complaints filed regarding minors in 2015 only 0.1 percent of the cases remained unresolved.
Countries outside the international treaty
Outside the Hague Convention There are some Arab countries, where it is practically impossible to find the whereabouts of missing persons, such as AAfghanistan or Saudi Arabia. Nor are some Ibero-American states subscribed as Cuba, Bolivia or Peru. China It is also an important exception. Alejandra García points out that "beyond international relations and the political regime of each nation, the extension of the territory is key when it comes to finding the child.The bigger the country, the less hope for the family that waits in Spain for a happy ending. "
Other nations regulate these issues through bilateral treaties or through the application of rules on recognition of foreign resolutions.
Currently, fathers and mothers victims of this family tragedy are grouping themselves in the calls associations against parental kidnapping in our country. From different parts of the Spanish geography denounce the situation of helplessness and uprooting of their kidnapped children and calls for more measures to avoid this tragedy, which, in the end, results in minimum prison sentences, which reach a maximum of 4 years.
Marisol Nuevo Espín
Advice:Alejandra García, lawyer and expert in Family Law of the firm Le Morne Brabant Lawyers