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Dispute over child in Brazil continues

Oklahoma residents may have been following the story of a Texas father who is trying to have his son returned from Brazil, after the mother took the child there several years ago. The father says the child, aged 6, was illegally taken there by his former wife.

In 2013, the woman attended a family wedding in Brazil, and the child accompanied her. After arriving there, she petitioned for and was granted custody of the child by a court in Brazil. According to the father and his attorney, documents were altered to hide the abduction.

Although the Brazilian federal court ruled that the child had been illegally removed from this country and a U.S. court ruled that the mother's family had hidden the child's location, a Brazilian judge said that the child was settled in Brazil and should remain there. The father was granted visitation with the child and travels there to see him while continuing to fight for his return.

Children who have been illegally removed from their home country are subject to the applicable Hague Convention, which declares that the courts in the child's original country has jurisdiction over custody matters. This agreement requires that children removed from the country where they resided must return unless doing so presents a danger to the child from the other parent. The father's attorney explained this might involve direct intervention between President Obama and the Brazilian president in this case.

A parent with child custody issues involving a child who has been removed from the country without permission may benefit from speaking to an attorney. The attorney may assist by examining the evidence and petitioning the court to rule in favor of the child's return. The attorney may also review provisions of the Hague Convention that might help in a specific case.

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