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International custody dispute ends with girl returning to father


Posted by Thomas Pettinicchi of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Jul 23, 2013 in Child Support

Many parents will do whatever it takes to protect their child and the relationship they share with the child. When two parents are divorcing, this relationship can change very dramatically and it can be very difficult for parents to accept the change. This can be especially true when parents do not even live in the same country.

Fighting over child custody in Connecticut can be difficult enough for parents. But imagine if there was one parent here and the other parent was in a different country. How would that custody arrangement work? Under these circumstances, it is often up to the parents to make significant compromises to ensure that the child's needs are being met. Hopefully parents can learn to adjust to a potentially complicated custody and visitation plan, but too often this does not happen and a parent makes a very bad decision.

One woman, for example, violated an international treaty in order to try and keep her daughter from the father. The father was living in Iowa with the former couple's 4-year-old daughter. The girl's mother reportedly got permission to take the young girl to the U.S. to visit family. They were supposed to be gone for 90 days, but it ended up being more than year before the daughter would be returned to the father in Sweden.

The mother was accused of violating the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction when she refused to return her daughter to her father by keeping her in the United States. However, a judge ruled that the girl should be returned to her father in Sweden, as that was the only country she had ever lived in before her mother wrongfully kept her in the U.S. Because of her actions, the mother lost her shared custody rights. The father now has sole custody of the little girl. 

Child custody disputes can be very complicated for many people to understand. They are often driven by emotion and a parent's desire to spend time with a child. However, taking matters into your own hands and trying to skirt the laws can end up making an already difficult situation even worse. With the help of a family law attorney, however, a parent can pursue legal routes to modify child custody arrangements.

Source: Associated Press, "International custody case child returns to Sweden," David Pitt, July 17, 2013