When parents of different nationalities separate, the sharing
of parental responsibility is made more complex by different legal
and judicial systems. Sometimes it can result in cross-border conflicts,
or even child abductions. While international legal instruments
may seem sufficient, the situation can turn out to be dramatic in
practice: the complexity of domestic and international law, conflicts
between court systems, the length and cost of proceedings, and a
break in the link between one of the parents and his or her children.
The Parliamentary Assembly should recommend that member States
ensure that the best interests of the child prevail in order to
prevent or solve such conflicts, by making the enforcement of a
parental responsibility decision abroad simpler, speedier and less
costly, helping to widen the geographical scope of the key international
legal instruments, streamlining the processing of cases of child
abduction/retention, and ensuring the specialisation of the professionals
concerned and effective co-operation between the “Central Authority”
of one country and other national authorities.
The Assembly should also ask them to guarantee that the views
of the child or children concerned are heard and taken into account
and, lastly, to encourage recourse to properly and internationally
recognised mediation services and agreements.