At the end of last year we brought you the difficult story of a Georgia-based father whose daughter was taken from him when a court granted the child’s mother, a foreign national, custody of the daughter. Within hours of the ruling, the mother was on a plane with the daughter, flying out of the country and arriving in Scotland.
The father had previously filed an appeal with the federal courts, questioning the court’s decision to grant his ex-wife custody of their daughter, but the court determined the child custody matter was moot since the child was already out of the country and beyond its control. The father, however, pressed on, bringing his custody case all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States.
In a recent ruling, the Supreme Court unanimously decided in the father’s favor. Had the mother and child been in the United States, this would mean that a district court would need to re-examine the evidence and come up with a new custody agreement, but since the child is out of the country, it is not clear what the next step will be.
There is no denying that child custody is an incredibly difficult field, in part because of the emotional nature of the conflict. For fathers caught in the middle of an international child custody battle, however, it is especially difficult, as custody determinations sometimes come down to whether a foreign government is willing to treat an American citizen on par with one of its own nationals. Working with experienced child custody attorneys, however, may make it easier for fathers to get the custody they deserve.
Please see our previous post to learn more about this father’s battle for custody of his child.
Source: Reuters, “Supreme Court rules for father in international custody case,” Feb. 19, 2013