Share Your Experience

five star review
Lombard Office
Text Us Now

Federal Judge Cites International Treaty in Custody Battle

 Posted on August 14, 2013 in Divorce

A three year-old girl is the focus of an international child custody battle that has landed in the courtroom of a federal judge, who issued a ruling based on treaty that was signed by the United States and Sweden, where the child’s father is a resident.

According to the Des Moines County Register, both parents had joint custody of the child in Sweden. The mother brought the child to the U.S. in May of 2012 in an agreed upon 90 day visit to see her mother in Iowa. When she failed to return to Sweden with the little girl, the father filed a motion with the Iowa courts.


In May of this year, a federal judge ruled that the mother had violated the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. The treaty outlines child custody rules between countries that sign the agreement. It was signed by the U.S. in 1988 and by Sweden in 1989. The treaty states that custody issues should be decided in the country of origin. In this case, that would be Sweden.

A U.S. District Court judge also issued a second ruling in the case, reaffirming the federal judge’s ruling that the child should be returned to her father in Sweden. The district court judge allowed the mother to submit an appeal to his decision, but ruled that there was no compelling evidence presented in the motion to overturn the ruling and ordered the child to be returned to Sweden with her father.

After the federal court ruling in May, the father filed a custody modification with the Swedish court, which granted him sole custody of the little girl.

In July, the child boarded a plane with her father and returned to Sweden.

Although this case is an international case, it demonstrates just how complicated child custody disputes can become and how important it is for an attorney to know all the laws that may be involved. If you are involved in a custody battle, consult with a qualified Lombard family law attorney to ensure you and your children are protected.

Share this post:
Illinois State Bar Association DuPage County Bar Association Northwest Suburban Bar Association American Inns of Court DuPage Association of Woman Lawyers National Association of Woman Business Owners Illinois Association Criminal Defense Lawyers DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
Back to Top