Judge orders 6-year-old returned to Illinois in custody case
A federal judge ordered that a six-year-old boy who is living in Ireland with his father be sent to his mother's home in Orland Park. The boy has been out of the country with his father for 17 months. The case continues to be fought out in court, and a hearing scheduled for February could reverse the December decision.
An Irish court gave child custody of the boy to his father; the father's lawyer believes that an Illinois court will agree with that decision. He added that if the child comes to the U.S., he could just be sent straight back to Ireland. However, his mother is optimistic and hopes for the best. She explained that she just wants her son home as soon as possible.
In the meantime, the boy's mother is eagerly anticipating her son's arrival and hoped that he would be there for Christmas. While she put up and decorated the tree with a variety of handmade ornaments, she waited for him to put the angel on the top. At that time the parents were still resolving the issue of how to get the child back to the United States. However, the father's lawyer expressed his intentions of blocking the child's transfer. He said that the boy needs stability in his life and should not be shipped back and forth between his parents.
International child custody can be difficult to negotiate because of the difference in laws between countries. A family lawyer might be able to help clients come to an agreement regarding visitation schedules when overseas trips are not always possible.
Source: My Fox Chicago, "Boy, 6, caught in international custody battle may soon return to Ill.", Craig Wall, December 13, 2013