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Child custody dispute may hinge on international law

Child custody matters in New Jersey are almost always complex under any circumstances.  One can only imagine the stress on a parent trying to resolve an international child custody dispute.

One father is currently trying to retrieve his two children back from Argentina where they were taken over three years ago by the children's mother.  Though a judge had already ruled that the mother could not relocate the children outside of the United States, the mother apparently decided to defy the court order.


The judge had ruled that the children should remain with the father and has ordered the children to return. Sadly, it may take years before this matter is actually resolved. A decision on this matter could ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court of Argentina.

It has been reported by the U.S. State Department that there are approximately 1,200 of these kinds of child custody matters occurring every year where children are taken to other countries. These sort of international child custody matters sometimes are then only settled after negotiation.

However, resolution of this specific matter could be dependent upon interpretations of international law. Under international law, the return of children thought to be abducted by a parent can be governed by the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Parental Child Abduction that was put into effect in 1980. Both the U.S. and Argentina did sign onto the Hague Convention.

Fortunately not every child custody circumstance is as contentious as this one. However, even a case this extreme does demonstrate how parents often are uncooperative and do not take into consideration the needs and best interests of a child when child custody disputes occur. Under any circumstances, family law attorneys are needed to negotiate with parents and to make certain the needs of the child and of both parents are met.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Dennis Burns Waits For Argentinean Supreme Court To Rule On Return Of Abducted Daughters," Nov. 12, 2013

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