A man who has been fighting for over three years to get his two girls back from his ex-wife in Argentina has finally won the battle. The two girls, now ages 5 and 7, were supposed to be in the father's custody after a ruling by a Colorado judge in 2011 gave him primary residential custody.
The man's ex-wife had wanted to live in Buenos Aires, but he wanted to remain in Colorado with his two girls. Only three weeks after the Colorado judge gave primary custody to the father, the mother took off to Argentina with the children. Since then, the man has spent most of his savings and several years fighting to get the two girls back to the U.S.
According to the U.S. State Department, the Hague Convention child abduction treaty is "a multilateral treaty that provides protection for children from the harmful effects of abduction and wrongful retention across international borders." An application was filed by the father. Ideally, the person who files the application is supposed to get his or her children back within six weeks to two months. While Argentina has signed the treaty, the courts allow many appeals. These appeals caused the delay in getting the children back to the U.S.
The mother, though, has had her last appeal at the Argentina Supreme Court. The court ruled that the children must be returned to the father.
International child custody cases are complex and as such, an experienced family law attorney is needed to guide someone through the long, arduous process. These cases may take time to reach a conclusion, but for most parents, the fight is more than worth it.
Source: CNN, "U.S. Dad Wins Huge Custody Fight" Ana Cabrera and Elizabeth Stuart, Mar. 31, 2014