Child custody disputes can be onerous situations that can quickly morph into intense legal battles that take years to be resolved. This fact has never been more true for a local Illinois woman who is currently engaged in a heated international custody dispute with the father of her child, a national of Ireland. In the case Redmond v. Redmond, decided by the U.S. Appeals Courts, a local Illinois mother has been fighting her child's father's claims that his son should be returned to Ireland to live with him. This situation represents an extremely complex variety of legal custody issues, because the parties were never married, and the father is not a U.S. national.
The Legal Battle
The couple that is the subject of the custody battle met in Ireland, where their child was conceived. However, in 2006 the mother returned to Illinois while pregnant and gave birth to her child in the United States. Though from a legal standpoint the child is a U.S. citizen, the Irish father has maintained that he at least deserves joint custody of the child. In 2012, a federal judge determined that the child should be returned to his father in Ireland. However, the U.S. Appeals Court overturned this ruling by holding that the child should be returned to the U.S. pending an official custody order being entered on behalf of the parties. Both sides are still tied up in litigation over this issue, which will assuredly drag out in civil courts for years to come.
Child Custody & International Law in Illinois
Redmond is rife with a plethora of legal issues that illustrate how difficult and time-consuming child custody cases can be. Under Illinois law, child custody arrangements cannot be made until after the child is born. Illinois encourages the creation of child custody agreements through collaborative processes such as arbitration and mediation. If parties cannot come to a child custody agreement through these mediums, a family court can create a child custody agreement that is in the "best interests of the child". If the parties in Redmond had created a child custody agreement after the birth of their child, they would not currently be locked in intense litigation that has left the status of their child's custody in limbo.
Child custody disputes are complicated matters that can take up a lot of time and money. It can also place significant strain on the relationships of both parents, as well as strife and confusion for the children in the middle of such disputes. Luckily, developing a comprehensive and binding child custody agreement immediately after the birth of a child can prevent many child custody disputes. Call the attorneys here at Sullivan Taylor & Gumina, PC, in Wheaton Illinois, in order to discuss all of the child custodyservices that our attorneys can provide.