Published on:

International Child Custody Case Reaches the United States Supreme Court

Thumbnail image for child (Cia de Photo).jpgOur Santa Rosa family law attorney was interested to learn this week that the United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear a United States Army Sergeant’s challenge of a lower court’s ruling regarding custody of his five year old daughter. According to the Chicago Tribune, the challenged ruling was passed down by the Federal Court of Appeals under an international treaty. The ruling awarded custody to the mother, who resides in Scotland.

The Army Sergeant, Jeffrey Chafin, filed for divorce from Lynne Chafin, mother of the child at the center of this custody dispute. Mrs. Chafin, a Scottish national, has lived with her daughter in Scotland since 2007, while her husband has remained in the United States due to his military career. In February of 2010, Mrs. Chafin travelled to Alabama in an attempt to save the marriage but was not successful. She returned to Scotland, after overstaying her visa, without her daughter, following a ruling by an Alabama State judge awarding custody to Mr. Chafin.

In October 2011, a U.S. District judge in Alabama ruled that the daughter be returned to her mother in Scotland, as it was her “habitual residence” under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. Mr. Chafin appealed the decision in the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but his appeal was dismissed for being moot since the daughter was already living outside the U.S.

The United State Supreme Court will now hear the case in the upcoming term, ending June 2013. This decision could potentially change the harsh reality affecting the child custody cases of many service members stationed overseas and now engaged in international child custody disputes.

Child Custody Cases
This legal case is a stark reminder that child custody matters are not simple and often require complex legal arguments. International child custody disputes can be even more complex, and thus it is extremely important to contact a Santa Rosa child custody attorney for assistance if you are facing this type of child custody dispute in our area. A Santa Rosa Family Law Attorney with experience in child custody law will help you to analyze the various factors in your specific case that will be considered by the court in determination of the “best interest of the child”. The best interest of the child is used as the basis for a determination of child custody. Some examples of factors include the child’s age, emotional issues, parental behavior, and much more.
Getting Legal Help in Northern California
Our Santa Rosa family law attorney understands the difficulties of all types of child custody disputes. If you are faced with the harsh reality of child custody dispute our firm has the experience needed to adequately protect your rights. For a consultation call Beck Law P.C. at 707-576-7175 or contact us online.
See Related Blog Posts:
The Tom Cruise Case: High Bar to Obtain Sole Custody
Determining the Best Interest of the Child

Contact Information