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Melissa A. Featherston

Fathers' rights cases can be lengthy with international reach

Sometimes child custody issues can span the globe and take a long time to resolve. Because society now has easier access to travel and many people have international careers, child custody cases that were once very localized now are subject to many different laws across many jurisdictions. This week, a federal judge dismissed a fathers' rights case that lasted nearly a decade.

The case involved a Chilean case between a British father and an American mother. The Chilean court ordered both parents not to take their child out of the country without the consent of the other parent. The mother fled to the United States where she and the child have lived ever since leaving Chile.

The father has been fighting in the United States to get a judge to address the issue under the issue of international child abduction dealt with by The Hague Convention. The judge ruled that the convention only dealt with children up to age 16. The mother claims that the child wants nothing to do with his father.

This case brings up issues of whether the custody court order of another country applies within the United States. It is important that children have both parents in their lives. When one parent is a citizen of another country, immigration issues may prevent that parent from seeing and advocating for their child.

Many times fathers aren't given enough credit for fighting for custody of their children. This case highlights the need for experienced representation during highly complex fathers' rights cases.

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

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