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International Custody Battle Settled as Mexican Mother Permitted Into Houston to Reunite With Child

What are some of the complexities of an international custody dispute?

International child custody disputes can quickly become a complex web of jurisdictional, procedural, and policy-related intercessions – making a smooth outcome something to hope for, but not expect. While custody conflicts across the Mexico-U.S. border are hardly uncommon, issues routinely arise that require difficult bureaucratic involvement and lengthy periods in limbo.

In one recent case, a mother had to wait an entire agonizing month before reuniting with her child, all due to a snag in the system that resulted in the wrong child being sent from the United States to Mexico.

How they got it wrong: A mother waits an entire month for her wrongfully-deported child

In the western Mexican province of Michoacan, a woman and her 13-year old daughter were finally free to travel from Mexico back to the United States following an international snafu that allowed the child’s father to wrongfully maintain custody of her for nearly eight years. Beginning in 2008, the child and her father fled the United States for Mexico in violation of the terms of a Texas custody order. Despite her best attempts, the mother was unable to locate her child or work to have her returned until early 2015.

At that point, the mother was able to petition the court in Michoacan for the safe return of the girl, which was immediately granted. Unbelievably, however, the Mexican court sent the wrong child across the border to Houston, Texas, who was immediately returned. For the next month, the mother waited patiently while the court conducted a DNA test on the so-called ‘correct’ child, which was returned as a match to the petitioner. Not wishing to take any chances, the mother flew to the Mexican province to escort her child back to Houston personally, and she is now able to enjoy her child without fear of interruption.

If you are facing a difficult custody situation and would like to speak to an Austin, Texas child custody attorney about your legal options, please contact Stinson Moyle today at (512) 948-3688.