Texas military parents may commiserate with an Army soldier trying to regain custody of his young daughter. The couple has been going through a divorce, and the parents are now embroiled in a bitter custody dispute over their daughter. Last year, a federal judge allowed the little girl to move back overseas with her mother. They had lived abroad prior to moving to the United States to be with the father. The husband is now fighting for the return of his daughter.
A federal appeals court refused to hear the father’s plea because it stated the issue was beyond the court’s jurisdiction due to the fact that the child currently resides outside of the country. That decision led the father to request a Supreme Court review of the case. The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction appears to be at the heart of this case, and the Supreme Court will consider whether appeals such as this should be considered moot after a child moves out of the United States.
The mother has argued the initial federal court ruling that allowed her to take her daughter out of the country was the correct one and the father had been in the wrong by trying to keep their daughter in the U.S. The woman has since petitioned the Scottish courts for custody. They have lived in Scotland since October of last year.
International custody fights can be common, especially among military parents. Many times, these disputes begin when one parent takes a child out of the country without permission. However, this woman received the court’s go-ahead, allowing her to take the little girl overseas to the country where they initially resided. Any time a divorce is ongoing, custody issues can result and important issues must be confronted in the best interests of the child. In most Texas divorce cases, issues of international custody disputes are not the norm; however, fights like this can result if one parent holds citizenship in another country and wants to return home with their child.
Source: al.com, “International custody case from Alabama heads to U.S. Supreme Court,” Mary Orndorff Troyan, Aug. 22, 2012