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Ski instructor could get kids back from mom in foreign country

Divorce forces couples to address a variety of issues, many of which produce conflict. For couples with children, however, few issues are more strife-ridden than child custody. Around the country, including in Tennessee, joint custody is sometimes awarded, but most judges prefer to grant physical custody to just one parent. When the other parent does not accept that judgment, real trouble can follow.

This is the situation a Colorado father has been facing for the past four years. In 2010, the man's ex-wife took the couple's two girls to her native Argentina without asking permission. The man, a real estate agent and ski instructor in the Aspen area, had been granted primary custody of his daughters after a year-long legal battle.

By taking their children, the woman violated a Colorado custody order. Fortunately for the father, Argentina was a signatory to an international treaty that governs cross-border abductions. Following three years of legal action against the woman, the man's attorneys in the foreign country were able to get the country's Supreme Court to deny the woman's last appeal and affirm that the two girls must be returned to their father.

The father has professed that he is not interested in legal action against the girls' mother and has declined to press criminal charges.

Abduction by a noncustodial parent unfortunately does occur in the United States. When abducted children are taken over national borders, however, the task of getting them returned is more difficult. Because child-custody disputes are typically charged with emotion, the legal knowledge of a qualified legal professional may be helpful to help maintain a level headed approach to the situation.

Source: Post Independent, "Children could soon be returned to former Carbondale dad after international abduction," Veronica Whitney, April 24, 2014

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