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Cross Border Mediation

Cross Border Mediation is a unique way of conflict resolution, which is offered in the Netherlands by only a few experienced, certified mediators. It is about solving a conflict between parents in the case of an (imminent) international child abduction of cross border change of residence of children after the divorce, breaking up the relationship or an expat returning to his/her country of origin.

International child abduction is, given globalization, an increasingly important problem of society. Child abduction is defined as the unauthorized transfer or not returning of a child opposed to the right of custody as it has been sentenced by the country where the child had its residence prior to the abduction.

Cross Border Mediation can avoid a time consuming and costly juridical battle between parents. The parents are given the “pressure cooker”-opportunity (usually 9 consecutive hours over 2 days) in order to come to an agreement and make arrangements on the residence of their child(ren) in the Netherlands or abroad, accompanied by two experienced mediators, of which Birgitte Beelen is one, in a safe and neutral environment.
Cross Border Mediation focuses on the question where the child(ren) is/are going to live: will the abducting parent return voluntarily with the abducted child(ren) or will the claiming parent allow the other parent and the child(ren) be allowed to stay where they are?

Cross Border mediation is also oriented to reaching an agreement on the visitation rights. Point of departure is together finding solutions which do justice to the child(ren) and are mutually acceptable for both parents. The interest of the child(ren) and a permanent positive relationship with both parents and other family members are core.
This is about arrangements that concur with the needs of the parents, the child(ren), the mutual families and considers the repartition of care and educational tasks, the moments of contact, holiday arrangements, the obligation to inform and consult each other and, in incidental cases, the safe return.

An independent and neutral expert first listens to the feelings and thoughts, expressed by the child(ren) itself/themselves, about the decision (to be) taken by the parents. This ‘voice of the child’ is reported in writing to the parents and the two Cross Border Mediators. The subsequent (partial) agreement between the two parents are laid down in a document which may be integrated in a Court decree at the request of the parents.

SYNTAGMA will, in case asked for, provide you with information on possible consequences and steps to be taken prior to your possible decision to leave the country.

Further information can be found at the Centrum Internationale Kinderontvoering.