As Miami family law attorneys, we understand the complexities that can arise when parents are of different nationalities or live in different countries. One father has been involved in a child custody battle for over three years after the mother fled with his two children to Argentina.
A judge had already ruled that the woman could not relocate the children to another country. The judge had ordered that the children should remain with the father. The mother nevertheless defied the wishes of the court. Though a judge ordered the children be returned, this may take years to actually occur. The matter right now appears to be in the hands of the Supreme Court of Argentina.
Child custody matters always involve a number of issues, and an international child custody dispute will only make matters more complex. Resolution will require interpretations of state, federal and international law. Anyone with questions will obviously need to seek the advice of an experienced family law attorney.
The U.S. State Department reported that there are approximately 1,200 of these kinds of child custody matters every year. Though parents may be prosecuted for such abductions under federal law, this in great part will be affected by cooperation of authorities in the country in which the children were taken.
Argentina is one of the nations that have signed onto the Hague Convention concerning such abductions. But while the Hague Convention is in place, these disputes still generally take time to resolve. These matters can also often prove to be costly. These cases are often only finally resolved after negotiation has taken place.
Source: The Huffington Post, "Dennis Burns Waits For Argentinean Supreme Court To Rule On Return Of Abducted Daughters," Nov. 12, 2013