Father longs for children to be returned from Argentina: Update

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Child Custody on Wednesday, June 1, 2011

In a previous post, we discussed one father’s agonizing story of the abduction to Argentina of three of his children by their mother. Since that post, a U.S. court has awarded full custody of the children to their father. In addition, the mother has been charged with a felony for unlawful flight from prosecution, which authorities and the father are hoping will influence the Argentinean government to return her and the children to the U.S. where she can face the consequences of her actions. The mother took three of the couple’s four children to Argentina in 2008 while the couple was still married. In 2009, a Louisiana judge granted a divorce and awarded the father sole physical custody of the couple’s children. The 43-year-old mother is charged with three counts of violating a child custody order, a federal Class D felony. The three-year anniversary of the children’s abduction is upcoming in June, and the children are now 11, 9 and 7 years of age. Thankfully, the children’s mother has allowed the father to speak to the children over the phone. However, the reports of injuries and improper care have led him to worry for his children’s safety. Now, investigators are hoping that the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office will help to fight the international barrier the mother has thrown up and bring the children back home to Louisiana. Although, the father has not heard from his ex-wife or their attorney for the past year, the custody battle is also being presented to the Argentinean courts, where the Hague Convention treaty will be the center of attention. The international treaty aims to help children and families if there has been a wrongful removal from their home country. The U.S. court found that the mother had clearly violated the Hague Treaty. Although this man’s sad story seems isolated, parental abduction has become widespread. In fact, it appears that this situation is on the rise. In 2010, the U.S. Department of State received 1,023 requests for assistance in international parental abduction cases, up from 642 cases in 2006. Missouri parents who may be involved in a child custody battle should be aware of the real consequences of parental abductions, especially to countries outside the U.S. Source: Journal and Courier, “FBI may join custody case,” Sophia Voravong, 29 May 2011