Fathers who live in Marietta may sympathize with the plight of a man who is awaiting a ruling from an Argentinian court. The court will determine when he can see his children again. They were abducted more than three years ago by their mother and taken to Argentina after the man was named the primary residential parent by a U.S. court.

The man’s situation is not atypical fathers’ rights issue. He was granted residential custody of his children, only to have them illegally removed from the country by their mother. The matter is now in the hands of the Supreme Court of Argentina, which is ruling on the mother’s appeal of a lower court’s ruling that the father should regain custody. Unfortunately, the case may seem familiar to some fathers who have experienced wrongful actions by their spouse in matters involving their legal parental rights.

According to the U.S. State Department, more than 1,000 parental abduction incidents are reported each year. While the Department of Justice may prosecute parents involved in such abductions, they have limited power over the custodial decisions of foreign countries. Therefore, children seldom are returned to their parent’s custody in a timely fashion.

While the case of this father may be more dramatic than other fathers going through a child custody dispute, the challenge of ensuring that their parenting rights are upheld arises in a number of child custody cases. Fathers, however, play an essential role in the development of their children. Depriving them of that role is unfair not only to the father, but to the children involved as well.

Source: Huffington Post, “Dennis Burns Waits for Argentinian Supreme Court to Rule on Return of Abducted Daughters,” Nov. 12, 2013