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Supreme Court hears child custody argument

In a rare move by the United States Supreme Court, a child custody case was granted a hearing based on the plea of an Army Sergeant First Class whose former spouse took their child overseas. The case began when the little girl was born in Germany with dual United States and United Kingdom citizenship. When the sergeant was transferred to Afghanistan, the mother took the child to Scotland and established residency. Upon his return to the states, the family briefly reunited in Alabama before the mother left and returned to Scotland, taking the child with her.

Prior to leaving, the mother sought and secured an order from a federal district court to take the child out of the country, arguing that the child had spent most of her life in Scotland and that it was her habitual place of residence. The court granted her motion, and she immediately filed for custody of the child upon reaching Scotland. For the past 14 months, the child and mother have resided in that country while child custody measures are pending

The father brought the case to the Supreme Court to determine if a federal appellate court has the authority to review a district court's order to return the child to an overseas location under the terms of the Hague Convention. The U. S. Court of Appeals denied the father's appeal, but the Supreme Court granted him a hearing to resolve the issue.

When child custody is an issue between parents, a quick resolution to the legal disputes is usually in the best interest of a child. A divorce attorney can assist a parent in securing a swift hearing on all child custody issues so that these matters can be resolved quickly and the children subjected to as little of the legal battle as possible.

Source: Huffington Post, "Rare Family Law Case Heard by U.S. Supreme Court," Margaret Ryznar, Dec. 10, 2012

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