FREE Consultation (866) 848-7077

Two boys in alleged international abduction reunited with fathers

Posted On behalf of Michael D'Amico of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Jan 02, 2014 in Child Custody

Connecticut parents may have heard the story about two children who were reunited with their fathers on Dec. 28 after the boys' mother was charged with their abduction. The mother had taken the children (who have different fathers) to Europe for what was supposed to be a temporary trip. Although the trip overseas was authorized, the mother violated child custody orders by keeping the boys there. The 32-year-old woman became the center of a globe-spanning law enforcement effort with Interpol, the FBI and local agencies all searching for her and the children. She was captured in December of 2013 in a French town near the Swiss border with the boys, ages 4 and 10.

The woman's ex-husbands, one of whom is a former president of Hollywood Records and the other a Beverly Hills talent agent, attended a hearing in France during which the judge ordered that each father have his son returned to him. The District Attorney's Office in Los Angeles County charged the mother with two counts of child detention with right to custody, and authorities in California were reportedly seeking her extradition, although officials said they thought she would return to the U.S. voluntarily.

During the French hearing, the mother professed concern that the 4-year-old was at risk with his father and voiced her wish to retain legal custody of the boys. After she kept the boys overseas and the fathers came to the realization that they were not coming back, a local court awarded sole custody of each child to his father.

Not all child custody battles are as dramatic as this one, but every custody dispute is important to the children and parents involved. A family court may determine the best interests of the child to award legal custody and physical custody appropriately.

Source: Huffington Post, "Fathers Reunited With Their Kids 18 Months After Kidnapping", Brenda Gazzar, December 30, 2013