Long, Murphy & Zung, P.A.

Grandparents charged with international child abduction in Miami

The former in-laws of a Texas physician who, for five years has been trying to win back custody of his American-born son, were arrested at Miami International Airport on Wednesday, Feb. 7. The Brazilians stand accused of having helped devise a ruse that would help their daughter abduct the doctor's now 8-year-old son back in 2013.

According to the physician, he'd given his Brazilian ex-wife his consent for both her and their shared child to travel to a wedding in her native country in July of 2013. She was to have returned just over two weeks later on July 20.

Little did the doctor know at the time, but his ex-wife had already enrolled their son in school in Brazil for the upcoming school year. She was also slated to start a new job there.

When his ex-wife didn't return to the U.S. as agreed to in July, his ex-wife's father reportedly sent various emails as to why it didn't occur. In one case, he said that she'd contracted some type of illness and was awaiting diagnostic testing.

On Aug. 3 of that same year, the physician finally got word that his child would be returning to the U.S. His hopes were later dashed that same day, though, when he received a letter from his ex-wife's attorney. It said simply that both his ex and their son were seeking to qualify for Brazilian permanent residency.

The physician later learned that his ex was awarded sole custody of their child by a Brazilian judge. He reportedly was never notified that such a hearing was going to occur.

Fast forward five years. The issue is currently set to be heard by Brazil's Supreme Court in the upcoming months. At question here is whether Brazil or the U.S. is the jurisdiction in which the custody matter should be decided.

An attorney representing the grandparents contends that the federal conspiracy and international parental kidnapping charges that have filed against the pair are unwarranted. The father of the young boy noted that it's unfortunate that they've been arrested, but that it was his only option, especially considered how all other legal options had been exhausted.

If you and your ex are having difficulty deciding how to split up your time with your child, then a Naples custody litigation attorney can provide guidance in your legal matter.

Source: ABC News, "Texas dad hopeful of son's return from Brazil after former in-laws jailed in 5-year international custody battle," Bill Hutchinson, Feb. 12, 2018

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