Courts to decide international jurisdiction in custody case

On behalf of Lake Toback Attorneys

Child custody advocates in Illinois are watching with interest as international courts battle over the jurisdiction of a case between Hungary, the U.S. and Romania related to the custody of 13-year-old twin boys. While the federal trial will be held in Tennessee and won’t decide where the children live, it will finalize where the case is heard. The boys’ father lives in Tennessee while their mother makes her home in Romania.

The child custody battle began when the boys came from Europe to spend time with their grandparents in 2012. However, their father refused to return them to their mother and instead filed for divorce. Their mother has alleged that the father is wrong to keep them in Tennessee under international law although the boys are American citizens.

The mother might have granted her permission for the boys to attend school in their father’s home state. The answer to that could determine the judge’s final decision. An attorney who handles international custody cases admits that these types of battles are complex and expensive.

The parents married in Romania although the boys are natives of Texas. However, they relocated to Hungary so the mom could attend school. When the boys went to the U.S, the parents moved back to Romania. The father is now seeking a divorce and primary custody of his sons after threats of divorce from his soon-to-be ex-wife. The preferences of the boys are unclear. The courts will determine the primary residence of the children. While the mother claims that’s in Hungary, the father argues that allegation.

An international custody dispute can be costly, lengthy and involved. A family lawyer with a background in international law might be able to help parents work out child custody issues.

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

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Courts to decide international jurisdiction in custody case