Blog - The Verdict
MSB Solicitors Liverpool
Tuesday, 15 March 2016 00:00

Madge should have gone to MSB

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As mothers across the UK and Ireland celebrated with their loved ones on Sunday, one very famous mum was left bereft after admitting defeat on a custody battle to return her son to their New York home.

Pop icon Madonna has been locked in a battle with her ex-husband Guy Ritchie since December, when their son Rocco failed to return to New York following a trip to London to visit his film director father.

It is reported that Madonna made an application under Hague Convention to enforce the return of her son, arguing that she agreed Rocco could visit London but expected him to be returned. She did not, she says, consent to him staying there long term. Since then, a bitter and public battle has ensued between the estranged couple with regards to the wellbeing of their fifteen year old son.

Judges in both the US and the UK have slammed the pair for not being able to reach some resolution, both suggesting that an amicable decision on the teenager’s residence is in his best interests. This has been supported by a court-appointed solicitor for Rocco who indicated that the youngster was experiencing emotional upset and was finding the situation ‘very difficult’ to deal with.

Emma Palmer, family solicitor at MSB Solicitors suggests lawyers are seeing an increasing number of similar cases and a growing number of heartbroken parents who have been separated and are desperately seeking reunification with their much missed children. She says:
“As a mother myself, my heart goes out to Madonna. Being separated from a child is a heart-breaking predicament for any doting parent. What we must consider most fiercely though, is what effect a custody battle might have on the child or children concerned.

“It goes without saying that it is better if parents can agree on children’s matters, rather than a judge make a decision, because fundamentally, those decisions should be reached with the child’s best interests at heart - but that is not always easy. Cross border mediation can make this an easier process, by appointing assistance from an independent specialist solicitor mediator.

“In this case, Rocco Ritchie is old enough for his opinion to be taken into account, but it is different when dealing with infants and toddlers. The law on child relocation can be complex; and whilst England and Wales have existing agreements with a number of countries for the return of children that have been taken abroad without due consent, it is far from a straightforward process.

“There are still a large number of countries, particularly those in the Middle East, where agreements do not exist and we rely on international co-operation to ensure the return of an abducted child. In these circumstances a court application can be made under wardship; this means that the court could become the child’s legal guardian until the matter has been resolved, which often causes great distress.

“Unfortunately, as we continue to see more and more families relocate, so too do we continue to see a rise in child relocation and abduction cases when relationships break down. It is still an area of the law that people know very little about and it means that we are seeing an increasing number of despairing parents through our door.”

MSB Solicitors have a dedicated team specialising in international family matters, with a wealth of knowledge and experience and importantly a growing team with enough resource to act quickly. We have a proven track record in applying for and defending the return of a child; as well as applying for the removal of a child from England & Wales to another country.

Partner Emma Carey and family solicitor Emma Palmer are the only two solicitors in the Merseyside area to hold Resolution accredited specialist status for child abduction. Solicitor Eve McGowan is on the Law Society panel for Child Abduction and is engaged with The Child Abduction Lawyer’s Association along with Emma Carey and Emma Palmer.

Solicitor Wendy Eaves also has specialist experience in mediating for international child abduction matters.

For more information please call Emma Palmer on 0151 281 9040 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Last modified on Friday, 24 June 2016 09:23

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