International abduction case takes years to resolve

In the event that one parent objects to the terms of his or her divorce agreement, the person may be compelled to act outside of the law; and in too many cases doing so means violating Utah child custody orders. Some cases are more extreme and can involve international abduction, which presents an entirely different set of legal technicalities and potential setbacks.

Accompanied by the Mali Minister of Justice and the country’s U. S. ambassador, one mother was finally able to take her seven-year-old daughter out of Mali and return home to Kentucky recently. The Mali court rejected the child custody appeal of the child’s father, allowing the U. S. Embassy to facilitate the mother and daughter’s homecoming. The child had been out of the country for three years and any further delay in resolving the international dispute would likely have compounded issues.

After the child’s parents were awarded shared custody following their divorce, the girl’s father took her during a scheduled visitation and left the country for West Africa. The child reportedly did not have contact with her mother for a full year and half in Mali. Ultimately, custody was awarded to the mother twice, but attempts to reunite with her daughter were hindered by appeals filed by her ex-husband. Now, the trilingual child must transition into living in America and catch up on her education.

The terms of the Hague Abduction Convention are apparently not recognized by the Republican of Mali, which contributed to the difficulties surrounding the abduction case. And while the recent incident may be a more extreme example of a custody dispute, families all across the state of Utah deal with similarly complicated and devastating situations every day. Having the support and professional knowledge of an experienced family law attorney can be instrumental in resolving custody conflicts.

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