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Lengthy custody battle allows child to stay in the U.S.

Child custody matters in Hudson, New Jersey, can be troublesome cases -- that is why many people have legal counsel on their side when tackling such a subject. If a couple is not married, even visitation can be a tough thing to come by, especially in a recent case involving two parents from different countries. The mother in this matter was from the U.S. while the father was from Ireland.

Considering the complexities that are often apparent in a child custody matter, take a second and think about how complex the matter would be if proceedings had to occur across international borders. This is why the case has been going on for several years. According to records, the couple had met when the mother was 19 years old while she was in Ireland for college. Interestingly, the two shared a last name but were never married, even though they were together for more than a decade. During that time, she became pregnant with his child and the couple moved back to the U.S. for the birth in March 2007. Less than two weeks later, they left the U.S. and headed to Ireland where they had initially agreed to raise their son.

Months later, the relationship began to deteriorate and the mother moved back to the U.S. with the child. The father did not want this so he filed for custody rights. The problem was that Ireland does not recognize an unmarried man as the father. After a few years, the man managed to get custody rights and the mother -- who was in attendance at the hearing -- was allowed to head home to the U.S. to prepare for the move. She never intended to return though. That was when the Hague Convention was invoked by the father and a federal filing was made against the woman. That initial agreement on where to raise their son was the basis for a finding made by a U.S. district court that would have had her bring her son back to Ireland. But even that was overturned in the long run because the child had been living in the U.S. so long that it would be against his best interests to uproot him and have him move to Ireland.


Source: 
Courthouse News Service, "Custody Denied for Unmarried Irish Father" Lorraine Bailey, Jul. 30, 2013

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