Child custody case underscores complexity in international disputes

Last updated on April 8, 2021

The material facts relating to an international child custody case involving three young children currently in North Carolina demonstrate how complex such a matter can be when more than one country is involved.

A hearing in the case was recently concluded, with the judge stating that he will take the matter under advisement and deliver a decision sometime in the near future.

The matter involves the three young sons of a Mexican couple that fell into dire straits two years ago when, following the husband’s arrest for a traffic charge, he was determined to be an illegal alien and deported back to Mexico. The wife, who is a U.S. citizen, remained behind in North Carolina with the children.

Subsequently, though, she was deemed an unfit mother by the state, which is terminating her parental rights. She is in jail and has lost custody of the children, who are staying with a foster family. She is disallowed from having any contact with her sons.

Until recently, the husband was not even aware of the problems back in North Carolina. He returned back to the state under what is called humanitarian parole and must return to Mexico before the end of the year. He hopes to bring his sons back with him.

That might not be an easy thing to do, given that the guardian ad litem for the children, along with the state’s Department of Social Services, contends that the man, too, is an unfit parent. The children’s foster parents have expressed a desire to adopt the three boys.

Both sides differed sharply in court regarding portrayals of what could be the children’s home back in Mexico. North Carolina authorities cite a substandard living environment, while Mexican social services officials say that the family home is clean and adequate.

The case is obviously complex and capable of similarly occurring in Georgia and other American states, and points to the strong need for any party involved in such a matter to have a proven family law attorney with a deep well of experience in child custody matters as a legal advocate.

Source: Winston-Salem Journal, “Deported man tries to win back custody of sons in Alleghany,” Michael Hewlett, Nov. 20. 2012

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