Berman & Asbel, LLP

Father in midst of international child custody battle

Many parents know that going through child custody disputes can be difficult on children. Understanding the children's feelings and needs can go a long way as well as the parents communicating and working amiably with each other. When one parent disregards the child custody agreements, serious issues can arise, and parents and children can be negatively affected. When those issues escalate to an international matter, the situation can become very complex.

Pennsylvania residents may be interested in a father's custody struggle in a neighboring state. Four years ago, the father sent his two young daughters to spend the weekend with their mother, who had visitation rights. The father fully expected to pick his daughters up again after the weekend, but their mother had other plans in mind. She picked the girls up and left the country, fleeing to her native country of Russia.

Just last month, the father was informed that the girls' mother had died, and his daughters, who he had not seen and had almost no contact with since their departure, could potentially be sent to an orphanage. The father has been attempting to raise money in order to pay for the legal fees as well as other expenses that are necessary in order to regain custody of his daughters. There is also a risk that the girls' maternal grandmother, who also resides in Russia, may attempt to gain custody.

This type of child custody issue is not altogether unique, but it is also not a typical situation. Anyone facing custody problems can feel the strain of trying to protect the children involved and can feel betrayed when one parents acts selfishly. By understanding Pennsylvania child custody laws, parents in this state can better prepare themselves should they find themselves in a custody battle.

Source:, "Perry dad hopes to recover daughters taken overseas in 2008," Charita Goshay, June 28, 2013

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