In a child custody case that will certainly be of interest here in Orange County, Mexican parents expelled from the United States as illegal immigrants and the two American-born children they were forced to leave behind were recently reunited in Mexico City after a lengthy international child custody dispute, according to Fox News Latino.
We usually think of such disputes pitting parents of different nationalities against one another. In this case, however, the Mexican parents found themselves fighting county officials in Pennsylvania as part of a complex custody dispute. According to Fox, the couple had been living illegally in the US for about a decade when Pennsylvania authorities moved to take their four children and place them in foster care.
With the couple’s two older children already in the foster care system they sought to return to Mexico with their two younger daughters who, unlike the older children, had been born in the United States and are, therefore, American citizens. The family were “detained by police in California as fugitives for not appearing in the Pennsylvania court.” The network adds that the parents “were eventually released without charges and deported to Mexico without their daughters.”
From there the couple faced the monumental task of battling for custody in US courts while being unable to return to the United States. With the assistance of the Mexican government they were eventually able to testify in the Pennsylvania court via Skype, and to win an order returning their children to them.
International custody disputes are always difficult but, from the perspective of an Orange County child custody lawyer, it is fair to say this case posed a number of unique challenges. Parental rights sometimes needs to be fought for in our courts, and the complexities that often accompany international custody disputes here in Southern California and elsewhere never make such legal battles any easier. It is heartening to see that the authorities hearing this case were sufficiently innovative both to allow the parents to testify using computer technology and to acknowledge the importance of parents’ rights and the interest we all have in keeping families together.
Fox News Latino: Mexican Couple Wins Back Custody of Kids in U.S. Court Battle