When Arizona parents are unable to come to terms over the care and custody of a shared child, the matter can become highly complex and contentious. When there are international elements introduced into the child custody case, the level of complexity can skyrocket. Such is the setting for one man who is fighting for the return of his son after the child's mother took the boy to South America.
The father claims that his ex-wife took their 6-year-old son out of the country for a family event but then refused to return him in direct violation of their custody agreement. The child has been away from his home since 2013, and his father has been fighting for his return ever since. He has learned that the boy has been enrolled in school and that the child's mother has found work in her home country.
To further complicate matters, the mother filed a child custody case in Brazil and was granted full custody of the boy. The father claims that he was never made aware of the proceeding and that he was not given the opportunity to participate. He was granted very limited visitation rights, and he must travel abroad to spend time with the boy.
The father is asking that the child be returned to the United States so that custody can be addressed here. He is referencing the Hague Convention, which is an international treaty governing child custody matters that span different signatory nations. It is impossible to predict how this case will be resolved, as many parents are unable to secure the return of children who are removed from the country. For those in Arizona who are preparing for a child custody case that could have international elements, these cases are of personal interest.
Source: CBS News, "Texas father battles for custody of son who he says was illegally abducted by ex-wife", Nov. 17, 2015