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International custody dispute lasts years

Every year, the Texas family law system is presented with hundreds of cases to determine custody arrangements for children in divorce disputes. The best interests of the child are considered and child custody judgments are intended to reflect the unique circumstances surrounding the specific case. Unfortunately, though, instances do arise where parents violate the terms of court orders and attempt to leave the country with their child.

The U. S. ambassador of Mali and the country’s Minister of Justice, in addition to other representatives, were on hand when a mother was reunited with her daughter and given permission by the country’s court system to take the child home. Home was in Kentucky, but the seven-year-old girl had not been there in three years. The child’s father took her out of the country without his ex-wife’s permission after they were awarded joint custody following their divorce.

An arrest warrant issued against the child’s father had little effect since he was not in the country, and it wasn’t until the father sought sole custody of the little girl in Mali that the mother could communicate with her again. The process of the mother of regaining custody of her daughter in Mali court was slowed by the fact that the ex-husband appealed more than once. Finally, though, U. S. authorities were allowed to facilitate the mother and daughter’s reunion.

In discussing the case, some experts noted that international child abductions can be difficult to prevent in the U. S. Cases involving parents that wrongfully take their children out of the country can be incredibly sensitive, since they deal with domestic and international laws. People that are concerned over the possibility of their kids being involved in an international custody dispute can speak with an attorney today to learn about their legal options.

Source: The Grio, “Girl back in U. S. after bitter custody battle to get her out of Mali,” Kunbi Tinuoye, July 16, 2014

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