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Family Mediation and Possibilities of Its Use in International Child Abduction Cases

Vanja Branica orcid id ; Pravni fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, Zagreb, Hrvatska
Irena Majstorović orcid id ; Pravni fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, Zagreb, Hrvatska
Ivan Šimović orcid id ; Pravni fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, Zagreb, Hrvatska

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 417 Kb

str. 187-220

preuzimanja: 768



International child abduction is a phenomenon in the focus of experts for a long time. Nevertheless, it seems that the means of overcoming such difficult situations are often a bone of contention for different professions. The purpose of this paper is therefore threefold. Firstly, starting from the common perspective of law and social work, to shed additional light on the possibilities which are offered by family mediation, being a useful instrument of settling complicated conflicts and family disputes in general. Secondly, to analyse the advantages of use of family mediation in cases of international family abduction. And finally, to endeavour to provide an interdisciplinary insight into key legal sources combined with the knowledge of practical challenges of implementation of mediation procedures, so that the value of mediation in international child abduction cases would become more recognised.
To be more specific, the disruption of a marital or an extramarital union is by all means one of the most stressful events both for the partners and their children. It is a process demanding time to adjust and reorganise life, and the consequences for children depend not only on their age, but also on the behaviour of the parents during and after the divorce. Some behaviours on the part of the parents can become extreme in this process, and one of such extremes is the wrongful removal or retention of the children across the borders of the state of their habitual residence without the knowledge or consent of the other parent, i.e. international child abduction. Such an act causes significant psychological, social and legal consequences, all imposing pressure on the child and the parents. One of the optimal solutions to this complex problem is alternative dispute resolution, which is advocated for in a plethora of documents analysed in this paper.
Family mediation is one of the recommended procedures, in which the parents independently and with the assistance of a third neutral person have the possibility of reaching an agreement important for their lives and the lives of their children. The process of family mediation in such specific circumstances has its particularities, linked to the challenges of its realisation, the time limits, a high level of conflict between the parents, a frequently complete breakdown of communication and the issue of mistrust, together with the complicated legal framework. It is therefore necessary that family mediation be carried out by specially educated professionals working in pairs (preferably a legal and a psychosocial professional), so that the quality of the procedure is enhanced thereby augmenting the possibility of its success.
All professionals in contact with family conflicts as a part of their professional role, such as attorneys-at-law, judges, social workers, psychologists have the opportunity to present to the parents the option of participating in the family mediation. Therefore, it is necessary to provide additional information and education of experts in the field of family mediation and its advantages in the international child abduction cases. In other words, it is always the purpose of family mediation to encourage parties to accept the responsibility and decide on their own, which leads to a better chance that they will respect the decision reached. Hence, mediation would be recognised as a faster, simpler and more economic procedure, bringing both short- and long-term benefits. It is also necessary to make family mediation a more visible procedure in general, so that the new options of resolving family disputes in such demanding situations can be explored. Otherwise, family mediation, especially in cases of international child abduction remains a very useful instrument of unrecognised value.

Ključne riječi

family mediation; international child abduction; Hague convention on the civil aspects of international child abduction; family

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Podaci na drugim jezicima: hrvatski

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