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One child custody dispute crosses miles and three countries

Many Illinois families that have dealt with it personally may agree that divorce is never easy. Especially when children are involved, child custody issues and other disputes can be very difficult for parents and their kids. However, these types of situations can be compounded even further by some unique circumstances. One international custody dispute illustrates just how complicated such family law conflicts can get.

The children at the heart of the dispute are twin teenage boys that were born in the U.S. but grew up with their parents primarily in Hungary. The boys returned to America in the summer of 2012 to visit their paternal grandparents, while their parents moved the family from Hungary to the mother’s home country of Romania. 

While he apparently returned to the states to bring his sons back to Romania, the father filed for divorce from his wife and kept the kids with him in the U.S. His argument for doing so was that he guessed his wife was also planning to divorce and plead for custody of the children.

The kids’ mother is also fighting for custody, arguing that their father is keeping them out of Hungary illegally. However, before either parent can officially petition for custody, a U.S. district court judge must first rule on which country should handle the case. By determining where the boys’ primary residence is, the judge may decide if the custody dispute should be heard in Hungary, Romania or America.

Even though the mother’s arguments are compelling, her case may be compromised if it is found that she did consent to her sons enrolling in American schools at any point.

Source: The Tennessean, “International child custody trial begins in Nashville,” Sheila Burke, May 22, 2013

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