Celebrating an International Family Law Success Story

child holding paper cut out of family, international child custody, international family law, international parental child abduction, international parental child kidnapping

Whenever we’re able to help a family utilizing our experience in international family law, we count it as a success. Our team is proud to have recently been able to guide our client through a difficult time and to shoulder the burden of returning children to their rightful place. In today’s spotlight, we’ll highlight the situation and show how we achieved the desired solution for our client.  

A Heart-Wrenching Situation for Any Parent to Imagine

Our client and his wife and children are native Brazilians who entered the United States on a valid tourist visa in 2016. Our client was hoping to be able to secure a fellowship and extend their stay here but these plans fell through and our client decided to return to Brazil. 

Our client then returned to Brazil, with the understanding that his wife and children would return soon after. However, the children’s mother informed our client she would rather not return to Brazil and wished to keep the children with her. Shortly thereafter, she filed a petition of divorce in Brazil’s family court requesting “unilateral custody”, which would grant her the ability to make all decisions for the children. 

Brazilian courts denied this request but, even so, the father was not able to have any contact with his children during this time.  

Combining Florida and International Family Law Experience

Desperate to see his children again, our client sought ways to help his situation. Under the guidance of Francis M. Boyer, a Board Certified Specialist in International Law, our team helped our client file a complaint with the Florida Circuit Court for the return of his children. International family law cases like this fall under the articles set forth by The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.  

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an agreement between different member countries put in place by The Hague in 1980. This vital provision in international family law pertains to issues like parental kidnapping, removing children under 16 across an international border, or simply a case that involves the jurisdiction of different countries’ courts. All of this helps to see a prompt return of children that were wrongfully removed and helps enforce custody rights of member states’ courts.

Helping our Client Progress Towards a Solution

In December 2019, the Florida Circuit court issued an order granting petition for the return of the children to Brazil pursuant to the International Treaty and Federal Statutes. The children’s mother decided to appeal this decision as she stated she had no intention of either returning to Brazil or staying in the U.S. without her children.

However, in a final decision, the First District Court of Appeal of the State of Florida confirmed the Circuit Court order to return the children to the Father in Brazil, following the Hague Convention. We’re proud our unique combination of experience in both Florida family law and international family law was able to help our client seek this desired resolution. 

Starting a Family Law Case with a Trusted Attorney

If you have a case involving a Florida or international family law matter, let our team help chart the best path forward. Contact us now to schedule a consultation.