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on different continents. Where the family has ceased to exist as such, the situation in these cases is settled. However, it seems that where families are fragmented but extant, the dynamics of the unit continue to be subject to change and challenge.

(ii) Compromise:

We looked for evidence of whether parents were more prepared to compromise on the issues discussed above after a period of time had elapsed following return. This seems to depend on the strength of the feelings between the parties and the characters of those involved. In some cases the passage of time appeared to do nothing to encourage compromise so that, for example, where there had been no contact between the non-residential parent and the child for a considerable period at the time of the first interview, this unfortunate situation had not changed and the father has now not had contact with the child since 2001. In several cases, contact is still being fiercely argued and litigated 4 and 5 years after the abduction. More hearteningly, there have been cases where contact has been commenced between the non-residential abducting parent and the child after a period of 4 years and, in another case, the residential parent is preparing for contact between the children and the abducting parent, notwithstanding her own desperate pain and anger at the way in which the abducting parent conducted himself during the abduction and subsequently, because she believes that it is the children’s best interests for that contact to take place.

There have been examples of real progress and enlightenment where, in one case, the non-residential parent suddenly agreed to the residential abducting parent returning “home” with the child from the State of habitual residence, 5 years after the abduction,

admitting that they had all been “wasted years”. experience is not, however, general and one abducting

This parent

has

not

been

allowed

to

leave

the

home

jurisdiction

3

years

after

the abduction, with than 2 years earlier

the issue being no nearer resolution now at the time of the first interview. This is

16

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