When a couple decides to divorce and children are involved, the situation can get messy. However, put in an international twist on it all and things can get a bit more difficult. Though mothers do generally get a lot of the parental rights as opposed to the father, there is a growing trend of fathers fighting for their children.
U.S. Army Sergeant Jeffrey Chafin sought divorce from his ex-wife Lynne Chafin, a Scottish national, in 2010. Shortly after that, after her visa had expired, she was deported back to Scotland and took their daughter, Eris, with her. The girl had been living with her mother since 2007, separate from her father because of his job, making it easier for courts to say it would be better for the girl to be with her mother. Jeffrey appealed, but the courts were unsure how to handle the case because there was confusion on how to handle the case under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Adoption.
Finally, by a 9-0 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Jeffrey had the right to seek custody of his now 6 year old daughter. Lynne and her lawyers are saying Scotland will refuse because the daughter has been with the mother for such a long period of time that it is in her best interest to stay with her mother.
As this case continues, all one hopes is that Eris has a good relationship with her father as all children deserve to have. Hoping that the parents can work out their differences for the betterment of the girl should be the main concern.
If you are stuck in a custody battle contact a family lawyer who will know how to battle your rights to be with your children. A family law attorney in Illinois will be able to assist you.