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International child custody case dismissed despite abuse claims

When estranged parents each think they know what's best for their child but cannot agree, the situation can deteriorate quickly. An international child custody dispute recently came to a head in a courtroom east of Alberta. This especially emotional case involves an alleged abduction, claims of sexual abuse and bizarre tales from a young child.

A Canadian mother, who claimed her daughter was in danger in Egypt -- the 9-year-old girl's birth country -- was recently in a Canadian court fighting for custody. She was previously the subject of a nationwide warrant, and an Amber Alert was issued for her daughter when the mother failed to show at a Dec. 2, 2016 hearing. The woman alleges her daughter was sexually abused by her father, who was also born in Egypt.

During the Jan. 2017, proceedings, videotaped interviews of the child recounting her story of abuse were reviewed. The girl claimed to have been in a facility with hundreds of rooms where sex crimes and murder were carried out. The judge dismissed the claims as being entirely made up and likely the product of a child's imagination, assisted by a mother's lies and coaching. He ordered the girl be returned to her father, and the case sent back to Egypt.

This case is unusually extreme, but it is not uncommon for one parent to attempt to denigrate the other in order to gain control. Situations like these are unfortunate, because it is the child who suffers most. While it may be hoped that most child custody cases can be settled out of court, the reality is it's not always possible. With the assistance and support of an Alberta family law attorney, however, it may be possible to arrive at a workable solution, whether through negotiation or litigation.

Source: stcatharinesstandard.ca, "Allegations dismissed as "a malicious contrivance" in Amber Alert case", Allan Benner, Jan. 30, 2017

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