Child custody disputes and fathers' rights

From infancy, the relationship between child and parent is important to a child's overall emotional development and wellbeing. When possible, children benefit from the involvement and attention of both a mother a father figure. Increasingly, however, many parents split or divorce which may lead to child custody battles and parental alienation.

One American father of two young girls is currently dealing with a nightmarish child custody dispute. After five years of marriage, the man and his Argentinean wife divorced. Despite a seemingly amicable divorce, things quickly changed when his ex-wife claimed her ex-husband had been physically abusive.

These claims surfaced when the man’s ex-wife petitioned the court for full custody of the couple's daughters as well as permission to move the children to her native Argentina. The allegations of abuse were subsequently deemed unfounded and a judge ruled that the children remain in their father's custody.

Less than a month after this ruling, however, the man's ex-wife boarded an airplane with the girls, who were ages one and three, and left the country. According to one recent study, an estimated 70 percent of parental abductions are committed by mothers. Fathers dealing with these types of complex child custody disputes are often left with few options or legal recourse.

In this case an appellate court in Argentina ruled that the two girls should be returned to their father. The girls' mother, however, objected and the matter will now be decided by the country's Supreme Court. Not only are international custody disputes expensive, they also take an enormous emotional, mental and physical toll on those impacted.

New York fathers who have questions or concerns about child custody matters would be wise to speak with an attorney. A lawyer who has experience handling divorce and child custody cases can provide advice and assistance in helping preserve a father's custody rights and ensure for the best possible legal outcome.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Dennis Burns Waits For Argentinian Supreme Court To Rule On Return Of Abducted Daughters," Nov. 12, 2013

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