Every parent's worst nightmare may soon be over for one Colorado dad. The Snowmass resident has not visited with his two daughters, aged seven and five, since their mother fled with the girls to her native country, Argentina, almost four years ago. Seven months ago, the mother cut off all contact between the father and his girls as well. While he was supposed to have a minimum of three weekly court-ordered Skype chats with the girls, the mother has stopped allowing it. The father has stated that the mother ceasing communication is a way of "getting back" at him. He also said that it's punishing the children by preventing them from having needed contact with both of their parents.
Troubles began for the family back in September 2010, when the couple went through a divorce but were unable to settle matters of child custody. The Argentine-born woman wanted the girls to move with her back to Buenos Aires, and their father fully intended to raise them in Colorado. The two battled in the Colorado courts for 13 months before a judge ruled in the father's favor and declared him to be the primary residential parent.
Within a month, the mother had absconded with the girls, and she used their Argentine passports to fly with them to Buenos Aires, where they have remained. Their father has burned through all of his savings mounting the complicated international challenge to re-establish custody of his children. His efforts may finally have paid off, however, as the Supreme Court of Argentina denied the last of his ex-wife's appeals. The father now awaits an order of return from the United States State Department and the date of the pending custody transfer.
An international kidnapping by a non-custodial parent is not incredibly common, but plenty of parents are deprived court-ordered visitation by custodial parents who knowingly shirk the law. If you have experienced this with your children, you need a strong advocate like a Colorado family law attorney by your side fighting for your parental rights.
Source: CNN, "U.S. Dad Wins Huge Custody Fight" Ana Cabrera and Elizabeth Stuart, Mar. 31, 2014