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NEWS ROUNDUP 16 Jan 2018

International custody disputes pose problems in Slovakia

Ria Gehrerová recommended by Ria Gehrerová Denník N, Slovakia

The conflict in a Slovak-Ecuadorian family show the struggle of parents who have custody of their children but not the cooperation of their Slovak ex-partners.

Slovakia Pattern recognition

Why this story matters:

family,migration, conflict

It was supposed to be settled. Having divorced her Slovak husband in 2015, a citizen of Ecuador was granted custody of their daughter and moved to her home country with the girl.

Yet after a visit to Slovakia, the father refused to return the child. Slovak police did not help the mother and the father would not leave the girl alone -- even during school hours.

The desperate mother asked a popular opposition politician, Natália Blahová, to accompany her when picking her daughter up from school. However, it only led to a heated argument, during which a child welfare official accused Blahová of attempting to kidnap the girl.

This harsh battle is more than familiar to any parent in Slovakia who is fighting over custody. In fact, it shows just how little power mothers and fathers have if their ex-partners refuse to cooperate.

Details from the story:

  • This scandal started off as an argument between the Commissioner for Children (and former politician), Viera Tomanová, and the opposition politician, Natália Blahová.
  • Blahová (SaS) is popular for engaging in the social affairs and the protection of children.
  • The commissioner publicly accused Blahová of helping to kidnap a child. It was not true, as she was just accompanying the mother of a child.
  • The child's grandfather serves as mayor of the village and an authority in the region. He was acquainted with the police officers who interfered in the conflict.

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