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Mother fears adverse custody ruling, returns to U.S. with kids

Divorce can have a terrible impact on children. While their parents may be looking forward to a better life ahead, the children may be feeling insecure. The children are worried about who will raise them and who will support them financially. In the best interest of the child, U.S. courts, including those in Tennessee, typically award child custody to one parent and order the other parent to pay child support. Parents must obey these court orders. However, sometimes, fear of losing the children to the less-fit parent may force a parent to ignore the child custody order.

For example, consider the recent case of a woman and her two children, aged six and four years. The woman went into hiding after she lost an appeal to move her child custody case to Bexar County, Texas, from Dubai. The woman believes that if the case remains in Dubai, she will lose her children to their father. If that happens, she is afraid that she will never see her children again.

The couple had been working in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as diplomats in the U.S. State Department. They had been in that country for the last few years. Their legal residence is in Bexar. However, the court ruled that the child custody case must be conducted in Dubai. Although her attorney filed a motion with the Texas Supreme Court that the mother be allowed to fight her child custody case in her own country, which is the United States, that motion has been denied.

The laws in the UAE regarding child custody vary significantly from U.S. child custody laws. Moreover, the UAE is not even a signatory to the Hague Convention, which governs inter-continental child custody laws. However, the UAE laws always favor the father over the mother, which is why the mother in this case fears the worst.

This case is very complex and it implicates challenging family law concepts. Even in much simpler child custody case, however, it is important that the parents involved have solid legal support.

Source: KSAT.com, Local woman facing overseas custody battle, Charles Gonzalez, Aug. 13, 2015

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