International child custody cases can be extremely complex and disparaging. Take the case of a United States Army dad who has been fighting for more than a year to get back his six-year-old daughter after she was taken to Scotland by her mother. But the Army dad recently received good news from the U.S. Supreme Court, which held that courts in the United States can get involved in international custody battles.
The 9-0 ruling gave the dad hope that he could eventually be reunited with his daughter, who was taken to Scotland a year ago by her mother. The parents met while the father was stationed in Germany and married in 2006. The mother and daughter lived in Germany while the father was deployed in Afghanistan and then moved to Scotland.
After the father was transferred to Alabama in 2009, the mother and daughter joined him about a year later, but the relationship had fizzled. The couple filed for divorce in 2010 and the mother was deported in 2011. The mother took the daughter with her to Scotland after a federal judge agreed that Scotland was the girl’s home country.
The father appealed the case but a circuit appellate court held that the issue was moot because the child was in her official residence of Scotland and the U.S. court did not have jurisdiction over the case. The father appealed again to the nation’s highest court and found that the justices were on his side.
Chief Justice John Roberts concluded that “there is a live dispute between the parties over where their child will be raised” so the issue is not moot. The case was remanded to the Florida-based 11th Circuit court, which was instructed to consider the case on the merits. That means the Army dad will have the opportunity to present evidence to the 11th Circuit court, which will issue a ruling based on the facts.
The Army dad said he was thrilled with the ruling, and said he now has a “fighting change” at getting his daughter back.
Source: Fox News, “Supreme Court says Army dad must be heard in custody battle for daughter,” Perry Chiaramonte, Feb. 19, 2013