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Father wins back custody in international dispute

Being a divorced or separated parent can be very challenging. Many people in this situation are required to share custody of a child and are expected to make adjustments to their own lives in order to make custody arrangements as easy as possible for children. However, now that people are more mobile and may be moving around more often, it can be very difficult to find a custody arrangement that benefits everyone.

But it is important for Texas parents to remember that custody orders are put in place in order to meet the needs of the child. Interfering with the requirements by violating a custody arrangement can jeopardize not only a parent's existing custodial or visitation rights, but also the safety and wellbeing of the child. A recent case highlights the issues that can often come up during these types of custody disputes.

The two parents of a little 3-year-old girl lived in two different countries. The mother was from here in the U.S. and the father lived in Sweden. In May 2012, the mother took the child back to the U.S. to see family, supposedly with the intention of returning their daughter to Sweden 90 days later. However, the mother never returned with the child.

After more than a year of the daughter living away from her father, a judge ruled that the mother had violated the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction by taking her daughter to the U.S. and keeping her here. He ordered that the daughter be reunited with her father in Sweden. 

When custody disputes cross international lines, there are often different laws that apply, depending on the countries involved. This can be very difficult for parents to understand, so often times working with an attorney can be helpful. Rather than risk the possibility of losing custodial rights by violating the terms of an international custody arrangement, a parent can explore their legal options in pursuing a custody modification. 

Source: ABC News, "International Child Custody Case Child Returns to Sweden," David Pitt, July 18, 2013