Chat Banner

Can We Help You?

Father Wants Children Returned to Poland: The Court Disagrees

father's rights lawyer in New York CityAnetta and Cezari were born in Poland. They both came to the United States to be married in Brooklyn, New York in 2003. After they were married, they returned to Poland to live. They had two sons, K.G. who was born in 2004, and M.G. who was born in 2008. There were claims that their relationship involved spousal abuse.

Anetta Moves to New York

Anetta took her children and immigrated to New York in April 2011. Her mother had been living in Brooklyn. She moved in with her. In 2012, Anetta brought a divorce case in Brooklyn, New York against Cezari.

Family Court Proceedings

Both Anetta and Cezari brought proceedings in the Family Court of Kings County (Brooklyn). Anetta was granted both legal and physical custody of the parties’ children by the Family Court. Cezari was given visitation with the children, but the visitation had to take place within the United States.

U.S. District Court Proceeding

Cezari brought a proceeding in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York (a federal court). He took this action under the Hague Convention, an international child abduction remedies act. He asked the District Court to have the children returned to Poland with him. Judge Frederic Block sitting in the Eastern District of New York found the children’s removal from Poland may have violated Cezari’s custody rights under Polish Law. However, he also found the children had “settled” in the United States. Pursuant to Article 12 of the Geneva Convention this made the United States their home. He found they attended school and church in the United States. He also found they were old enough to form relationships and attachments in their new home.

The judge did find there were some questionable issues concerning Anetta’s financial stability and also issues about the children’s appropriate immigration status. However, after reviewing all of the factors Judge Block found the children had “become so settled in their new environment that repatriation [is] not in [their] best interests.”

Conclusion

If you want to challenge custody, bring court proceedings immediately. If the children become too settled in their new country you may not be able to repatriate them.father's rights advocate on Long Island

About Elliot S. Schlissel

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