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Global child custody battles take time for New York families

We live in an increasingly global society. Travel is easier and faster than it has ever been. Many people travel the globe for work, and develop international relationships. These international relationships can sometimes lead to international custody disputes.

Child custody matters for New York couples and others in the United States can take years to sort out. Resolutions of custody in one country may not always apply in another country, making enforcement of custody difficult. One international dispute was recently dismissed by a U.S. federal judge after the child reached the age of 16.

That is the age when child custody guidelines under The Hague Convention no longer apply. The convention established rules that countries in the convention agreed to abide by. The case recently dismissed involved three different countries, and was working its way through the courts for nearly a decade before finally being dismissed.

The woman involved was a U.S. citizen and the man a British citizen. The child was born in Hawaii, but the child was brought back to the United States by his mother after being with the father in Chile. The Chilean courts said the child could not leave the country without permission from both parents. The fact that the boy involved was a U.S. citizen further complicated the case.

This case has had many different appeals by both parents who both wanted custody of the child. Because of the complexity of international child custody disputes, it would be wise that New York parents seek experienced help to resolve their custody issues through the court system.

Source: CNN, "Child at center of high court fight over custody gets closure," Bill Mears, Feb. 14, 2012