Archive for the ‘Hague Convention’ Category

Supreme Court to hear Custody Case

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Hague Convention, kidnapped children, Marriage, Parental Kidnapping, parental rights on January 7, 2010 at 5:17 am

Thanks Peter Hill for the heads up on this one…

Supreme Court to hear custody case

U.S. high court to hear tiny, important issue on child custody

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Monday in a case that seeks to define an aspect of custody rights under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

The mother involved is a U.S. citizen. The father is British, and the prior country of residence of the child is Chile. The child is now in the United States. The issue seems to be a very technical one, but legal observers said they believe the case will have an impact on international child custody battles where one parent abducts a child to or from the United States.

Timothy and Jacquelyn Abbott were married in 1992 in England, and their son was born in Hawaii in 1995. They divorced in Chile, and the court there gave custody of the child to the mother and gave the father visitation rights. A key element of the decision was that the court in Chile issued a ne exeat order preventing either parent from taking the child from Chile without the agreement of the other.

Mrs. Abbott took her son to Texas without the consent of the ex-husband, who managed to locate the boy. He went to court and said that the Hague convention required that a child who has been removed contrary to a custody order be returned to the country of residence. The technical question is if the ne exeat order represents a right of custody.

A trial court and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the wife that the legal order only provides a right of access to the father and not a right of custody. Her lawyers also argued that having custody also means having the right to choose where the child lives.

A number of organizations have filed briefs that support the position of one or the other parent. Some domestic violence organizations said they fear that accepting the order as a right of custody would prevent wives from fleeing from abuse.

A decision for the father by the Supreme Court would strengthen the rights of non-custodial parents involved in international parenting disputes.

The main goal of the Hague convention is to insure that the legal decisions of one country are respected in another. The international treaty is designed to prevent spouses from shopping for a favorable venue for their custody battles.

The Abbott case involves a U.S. mother trying to keep her son there contrary to a custody decision in another country. In Costa Rica the situation usually is a mother trying to keep her child or children here in the face of a custody decision in another country, frequently the United States.


Communicationhelper: Supreme Court to hear custody case.

Attorney Jeffery Leving Urges Lawmakers: Fight for US Children Abducted Abroad

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Hague Convention on December 1, 2009 at 10:55 pm

Attorney Jeffery Leving Urges Lawmakers: Fight for US Children Abducted Abroad

CHICAGO, Dec. 1 /PRNewswire/ — On December 2, the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in the House of Representatives will hear testimony from parents whose children were abducted internationally. The parents are testifying on behalf of two bills introduced by Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) targeting international child abduction and giving these desperate parents hope for a swift reunion with their children.

Fathers’ rights attorney Jeffery Leving (http://dadsrights.com), who was consulted by the US State Department as an expert on international abduction in October, is pushing lawmakers to attend the hearing and work unilaterally to protect families from being devastated by international abduction. The number of American children abducted abroad has increased 60% since 2005, an ominous trend illustrating the urgent need for legislative intervention.

The first bill, H.R. 3240 (International Child Abduction Act 2009), establishes protocols to prevent international abduction, advocate for US children abducted internationally, and assist the families left behind.

The second bill, H.R. 2702 (Suspend Brazil GSP Act), suspends trade preference with Brazil until Brazil complies with its obligations toward the US under the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction.

“Congressman Smith’s proposed laws are a step in the right direction,” says Leving. “Creating a standardized system to prevent international child abduction and streamlining the government’s response when children are abducted will allow families affected by this tragedy to focus on being reunited rather than navigating a bureaucratic maze.”

David Goldman, a left-behind-father who will be testifying at the hearing, inspired Congressman Smith’s bills. Goldman’s son Sean remains in Brazil five years after being abducted by his mother, who passed away last year. Sean is one of at least 64 American children abducted to Brazil who have not been returned to their custodial parents in the US.

Leving adds, “By imposing sanctions on countries like Brazil, whose judges have brazenly disregarded the Hague Convention, the US shows that we will not stand idle while American children remain separated from their parents in foreign lands.”

Known for advocating strong family bonds, Chicago divorce attorney Jeffery Leving and his firm have reunited fathers and children since 1981. He helped reunite Elian Gonzalez with his father in Cuba, winning international support. In August, Leving was selected as an expert resource for the first White House Roundtable and Town Hall Meeting on Responsible Fatherhood.

Contact: Kati Murphy 312.479.7246

SOURCE The Law Offices of Jeffery M. Leving, Ltd.

Attorney Jeffery Leving Urges Lawmakers: Fight for US Children Abducted Abroad.