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Maryland father facing international child custody dispute

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Often, in divorces involving children, a child custody dispute can become bitterly contentious. One Maryland man is finding out just how problematic the issue can be, as he fights in a Baltimore County court because his ex-wife has taken their children and left the country.

In their divorce proceedings, this Maryland man was awarded permanent custody of the couple's two young children. But in 2010 the man's wife, refusing the order, took their children and returned to her native country, Trinidad. She has been there ever since.

In a court hearing on May 9, a Baltimore County judge ordered the ex-wife to return with the children, issuing a ruling that will fine the woman $1,000 per day if she does not do so by June 1. Although Trinidad is party to an international agreement designed to recognize court rulings from different countries, they do not have an apparatus in place yet to enforce the agreement. The Maryland father claims that if his ex-wife does not return to Baltimore by the June 1 deadline he will go to the State Department for help.

This father has said that the process is taking quite a toll on him, both emotionally and financially. But he is going through the legal process so that his kids can be returned to him, and to ensure legal recognition that he is the one with permanent custody.

This is an extreme example of the roadblocks erected by opposing parties in a child custody dispute, but it serves as a good reminder. The best defense to this type of tactic is the one this Maryland man is following, engaging an experienced family law attorney to assert your rights in court.

Source: WBALTV.com, "Firefighter, paramedic fights to bring kids home from Trinidad," May 10, 2012

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