Child custody battles in Texas can become very complicated when one of the parents is a foreign national or one of the parents moves overseas. In November 2015, a Vietnamese woman tried to fly out of John F. Kennedy airport with her 9-year-old daughter even though the child's father is supposed to have custody. U.S. marshals stopped the mother and daughter from using their one-way tickets, and a federal judge has now ordered the mother extradited to France.
The child's father had previously obtained a child custody order in France, and the federal court ruled that the mother was deliberately failing to return her child to the father. When the mother and daughter were stopped at the airport, the mother was planning to travel to China and then Vietnam with her daughter. According to her attorney, the mother was trying to assert her parental rights in Vietnam after her child's father illegally obtained a custody order in France.
If the woman cannot successfully appeal her extradition, she will have to appear before a French court to face charges for child abduction. The federal judge that ruled to extradite the mother said that there is a significant amount of evidence to prove that the woman knew her actions were violating a French child custody order.
Determining what court system has jurisdiction is a crucial factor in international child custody disputes. When there is a disagreement over this issue, one parent could face charges for violating a custody order. An attorney may be able to help a parent who is involved in an international child custody dispute to determine which court orders are valid.
Source: Opposing Views, "DJ To Be Extradited To France In Child Custody Battle," Jordan Smith, June 23, 2016