An American father is facing a complex child custody fight after his former wife removed their young son from the country and took him back to the nation of her birth. The father has only had limited access to his son since the mother took the child to a family wedding in 2013, and he is asking that the child be returned under the provisions of the Hague Convention. As he continues his international child custody fight, he may face an uphill battle. Many Florida parents have endured similar struggles.
This is partly due to the fact that his ex-wife initiated a custody action in the foreign jurisdiction. She was able to convince the court to award her full custody of the child, with the father being granted only nominal visitation rights. He is now forced to travel to South America every eight weeks to spend time with his son, and he is only given brief windows of time in which to bond with the child.
The father is understandably frustrated with this state of affairs. He went from having daily involvement in the life of his child to having what he calculates as less than 1 percent of custody rights to the boy. He hopes that awareness of his case will prompt government officials to take on the topic, which has helped other families secure the return of their children from international jurisdictions.
As his struggles continue, the case serves as a warning to parents in Florida and elsewhere who face child custody matters with an international element. These cases can become incredibly complex in a very short period of time. Parents should take every precaution to ensure that their child is not removed from the country prior to having a custody order put into place.
Source: CBS News, “Texas father battles for custody of son who he says was illegally abducted by ex-wife“, Nov. 17, 2015