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Friday, 18 January 2013 12:43

Family Court orders children repatriation to France

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Justice Rita Teelock sitting at the Family Division of the Supreme Court has recently ordered the repatriation to France of the two minor children of Mrs Geralda Vieillesse.
The order mentioned that the woman who was living in concubinage with Mr Bacquié, will accompany the children and will lodge in their apartment at Clamart, France and Mr Bacquié will provide for the monthly alimony of 1,000 euros (approximately Rs 40,000) for their livelihood. This judge’s order will remain in force until a French Court will decide on the custody of the two children. The present case is an application lodged by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Gender Equality, Children Development and family Welfare for an order declaring the retention in Mauritius of the two minor children of the respondent as wrongful and for their return to France under Article 12 of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and section 6 of the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction Act.

The application has been made at the request of the father, Mr Bacquié, a French national. The mother is in Mauritius since March 2012. The couple is not married but has entered a civil contract of cohabitation since to 19 July 2006. The father acknowledged both children at their birth on 11 December 2005 and 15 October 2008 respectively in France.  The couple lives separately since January 2011 and Mrs Vieillesse continued to live in the flat with the two children at Clamart after Mr Bacquié had left.

A dispute occurred between the couple on 5 March 2012 and the mother took the two children without the consent of the father and came back to Mauritius two days later. The respondent denied that the children were wrongly removed from France in view of “the serious physical, verbal, psychological and or moral assault meted out to me and on the person of our children.” Both parents alleged being associated by their partner. In her ruling, the Judge in Chambers underlined that she is not convinced by the respondent that on the balance of probabilities “there is a grave risk that his or her return would expose the child to physical or psychological harm or otherwise place the child in an intolerable situation.” Ruling in favour of the application, the judge justified her stand and underlined the following: “Her returning the children to France is not to be equated to her custody being given to the father.

I order the return of the children to their habitual place of residence within one month of this judgment.  This will be done according to the undertaking conveyed through the Central Authority of France, namely: the mother shall accompany the children, she will reside with the children only, in the apartment they were residing in before leaving France. The father will provide a monthly alimony of 1,000 euros.”
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