Ms Layko, an Australian citizen, has twin daughters Noara (“C”) and B Noara (“B”),7 years of age, faces a case filed on the 28th June 2012 by her former husband, Mr. Noara, a Cypriot through the Director-General of the Queensland Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services initiating proceedings at the Family Court seeking orders for the return of the twin to Cyprus.
Ms Layko opposed, The wife alleged that the husband was involved in prohibited drugs and alcohol and exhibited domestic violence, thus, endangering the lives of the twins.
For several years, they have been changing their residences from Australia and Cyprus, when they were still harmoniously living together until they divorced in 2011. They both have separate lives and relationships, and the wife decided to remain in Australia with the twins.
After scrutiny of the evidence submitted by both parties, the Court ruled that the children will not be exposed to a grave risk of harm to them. If the father had given consent to the mother bringing the children out of Cyprus, and if there was a grave risk of the children being exposed to physical or psychological harm by a return to Cyprus, they should not be ordered back.
The Court is satisfied that there is not a grave risk that the children will be exposed to physical or psychological harm or placed in an otherwise intolerable situation. They will simply be back in the same circumstances they were in for the two years before their removal to Australia. Should the mother decide not to return to Cyprus, that is a matter for her, but as has been said many times in Hague Convention decisions, the Court cannot let itself be pushed too easily to a conclusion that there is grave risk simply by a parent who says “I will not return with the children”. Having evidence that she will not return if the girls are returned to Cyprus, the Court said that he is not satisfied that either there is a reasonable basis for such a position.
This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a Family Lawyer when contemplating a separation or soon after a relationship comes to an end. It is noted that publication of this judgment by this Court under the pseudonym Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services & Lasko has been approved by the Chief Justice under s 121(9)(g) of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth).