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Child abduction or child's decision?

View profile for Sian Taylor
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You may have read about Madonna’s recent court battles regarding the residency of her son Rocco. 

Until recently Rocco had resided with his mother in America following on from her divorce from Rocco’s father, film director Guy Ritchie. 

Madonna is currently on tour and during her European leg Rocco decided to stay with his father in London. He has since decided to remain in London with his father and has refused to reside with Madonna. 

Madonna, a woman who is unlikely to have heard the word no since the 1980’s, had made an application under the Hague Convention – which deals with child abduction - for Rocco to be returned to America. 

Why Rocco would prefer to live with his father in London is unknown but Rocco is not a young child. Rocco is fifteen. A fifteen year old that has clearly made up his mind. I would question whether forcing Rocco through an acrimonious court battle against his wishes is in his best interests, although as a mother, Madonna no doubt wants to do all that she can to have her son returned.

It is rare for the court to make an order as to where a child should reside once a child reaches 16. The courts generally accept that a child of that age has enough maturity to make up their own mind. As Rocco is very near that age should Madonna be able to use child abduction laws to force her teenage son to live with her? Time will tell.