In a previous post we discussed some of the international child custody issues that have arisen when one parent flees the U.S. with a child. The problem usually lies in the fact that the parent who flees is violating a custody order by preventing the other parent from seeing the child. Once the fleeing parent is out of the country, it becomes even more difficult to regain custody of the child.
When it comes to a custody battle, local or international, it can be overwhelming thinking about the possibility that you may not see your child again. What can a parent do?
One father did what he could to regain custody of his daughter after the mother left the country without informing him. The two had been together when the little girl was born, but separated after. They had a custody plan that allowed the father to see his daughter several times a week and on every other weekend.
But one day when he arrived at the mother's home to see his daughter, he found an empty apartment and a note informing him that the two had left. She had flown out of the country to Brazil, a move that violated the custody agreement. The father immediately informed authorities who began working on getting the daughter back into the United States.
It took several years as the father and U.S. Courts worked with the Brazil courts. It is a violation of international law to abduct a child from his or her home country. Just when it seemed hopeless, the mother agreed to return the little girl to the father. And though the entire ordeal was complicated and frustrating for the father, he is just glad that he will see his daughter again.
Source: Huffington Post: "Michael Sanchez Reunited With Daughter Emily Machado After Years-Long International Custody Battle," Aug. 18, 2011.