.. dad wants to retain visitation rights


            Posted on Mar 10,2013      

            Greek dad wants to retain visitation rights

Q.    I'm the father of a child born out of wedlock to a woman I'll call Patricia.  My name is on the birth certificate. I have court ordered visitation with our child.  

Without telling, Patricia left Rodotopi, taking our now 7-year old child with her to Massachusetts where she's working at a bank for higher pay.

Is there anything I can do to get to see my child?

K.P., Rodotopi, Greece

A.  You had and were exercising visitation rights with your child.  Patricia left without your permission. So you could file a petition in Massachusetts pursuant to the applicable Hague Convention seeking return of the child to Greece.

  Patricia might claim that, if ordered back to Greece, the child will be put in danger of grave harm, a claim she'd have to prove by clear and convincing evidence. If so, to win you'll need to pay a ton of Euros for legal fees and costs.  Then, Patricia could ask the Greek court, in order for her to work for more money, to let her remove your child permanently to Massachusetts.  If allowed, what then do you do? 

 I suggest you file a complaint here to request access to your child.  That would be far less expensive.  Then use the money you didn't spent on a Hague petition to pay for lots of visits here to see your child.  And, theoretically, Patricia would not prevent you from seeing your child out of fear she'd not be able to stay here. 

Of course, I'm no Aristotle so my theory could be worthless.  Isn't science wonderful?