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Father Has Children Returned to Israel

father's rights lawyers in New YorkJudge Douglas Hoffman, sitting in a Family Court Part in New York County, recently had a case before him involving an international custody problem which needed to be determined pursuant to the Hague Convention regarding international child custody issues.  The United States is a signatory to this convention.  This convention is considered a treaty which has the same enforcement ability as a federal law.

The father took the position in this case the mother had wrongfully kept the children in New York. He argued before the court the children should be returned to their country of habitual residence, Israel.

The parties had entered into a divorce settlement agreement. The agreement was detailed and had specific clauses involving parenting time. The agreement provided the mother would have primary residential custody of the children.

Mother Comes to New York

The mother had contacted the father. They had worked out an agreement where the children would come to New York to live with her for a period of one year. She requested the children come with her to New York so she could continue her education in New York.

The father took the position, after the year expired, the mother refused to return the children to Israel. He claimed this action violated the terms of the Hague Convention. The mother took the position the children were now established in New York and they should therefore remain in New York. Judge Hoffman noted in his decision, although the children were comfortable living in New York, they had no objections to returning to Israel. Judge Hoffman found the father had established a prima facie case regarding the wrongful retention of the children in the State of New York. The judge found the father’s testimony was believable while the mother’s testimony, that the father had agreed to allow the children to spend a second year in New York, was not credible.

Judge Hoffman in his decision found the mother’s keeping the children in New York impaired and prejudiced the father’s rights to see his children which was in violation of the parties’ settlement agreement which was incorporated by reference into their 2007 divorce. The judge therefore ordered the mother immediately return the children to Israel.father's rights advocate in custody cases

About Elliot S. Schlissel

Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. has spent more that 30 years representing individuals in matrimonial and family law cases.