United States Supreme Court To Hear International Child Custody Case

During your divorce in Broward County, it is important to speak with your lawyer about removing your child from Florida during and after your case. The marital and family law judge in the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit Court can issue an order or temporary injunction prohibiting the removal of your child from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. During contested custody and time-sharing cases, the divorce judge can also issue an order prohibiting the issuance of a passport or requiring you or your spouse’s Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney to hold your child’s passport in trust to prevent your child from being abducted or kidnapped from the jurisdiction.

The United States Supreme Court recently agreed to hear arguments in a child custody dispute between a Texas mom and British dad. The court will examine how American authorities handle the Hague Convention on child abduction which prevents one parent from taking a child to other countries without the other parent’s consent. The United States is amount 80 different countries that follow this treaty.

In this case, the father accused the mother of violating a court order issued in Chile by taking the minor child, a U.S. citizen born in Hawaii, to Texas without his consent. The father asked the American court to order that the minor child be returned to Chile based upon the Hague Convention. The mother felt that she had exclusive custody of the child and that the U.S. courts can not order her to return the child to Chile.

While a federal judge acknowledged that taking the minor child to the United States violated the Chilean Court order, the court sided with the mother. On appeal, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court and held that only a parent who has custodial rights can invoke the treaty to try to get the minor child returned.

Federal appeals courts in New York, Richmond, Virginia and San Francisco have all ruled in a similar manner to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. However, a federal appeals court in Atlanta has disagreed.

The issue before the United States Supreme Court is whether a foreign court order conveys a right of custody to the parent who has been left behind.