In a decision issued on November 19, 2015 in the case of German v. Lopez, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts issued an order requiring two minor children to be returned immediately to the Dominican Republic. The facts show that a divorced mother relocated her two minor children form the Dominican Republic to Massachusetts without the father’s knowledge or consent. The parties were divorced in the Dominican Republic and the father had shared custodial rights.
Upon learning that the mother had moved the children to Massachusetts, the father sought to enforce his parental rights and filed a petition in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts pursuant to the Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of Child Abduction. Please review another blog article on the Hague Convention by clicking here.
In an effort to convince the court not to return the children to the Dominican Republic, the mother alleged that the father was physically and verbally abusive to her during the marriage. The court determined that the mother’s arguments was insufficient to order the return of the children as there was no evidence that the father had hurt the children and there was no evidence that he had been anything but affection to them. While the court acknowledged the children are susceptible to a psychological trauma in witnessing the abuse of a parent, the court went on further to determine that there is no risk for future psychological harm to the children as the parents were divorced and were no longer living together.
Navigating through disputes over child custody that involve multiple countries is complex and difficult. If you have any questions regarding a child custody dispute involving multiple countries, please contact an attorney at Hamblett & Kerrigan.
Kevin P. Rauseo is a former director at Hamblett & Kerrigan P.A. and has since been appointed as a Justice for the New Hampshire Circuit Court. Please feel free to contact another attorney at Hamblett & Kerrigan to discuss your legal issues.