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Arrest warrant sought in international child custody case

A child custody case has grown very complicated, and now the Yolo County DA has asked for an arrest warrant. On August 2, a hearing will be held to decide if that warrant will be granted or not.

The basis of the case is this: A woman had full custody of her children. She had split up with their father and alleged that domestic violence had taken place. That father was allowed to visit the kids, but the visits had to be supervised.

The mother then decided to take her children on a vacation, and they went to France. In November, a judge changed the father's rights, saying he could have unsupervised visits with the children.

The woman then claimed that she feared for her children's safety. She "disappeared" in Europe, only turning up again when she tried to get asylum. That happened in the Netherlands. She was denied that request.

The courts have been trying to set up meetings, but the woman has asked to be allowed to carry hers out over Skype. A judge allowed it. The man then asked for the same thing, and it was allowed.

One big issue here is that the Hague Convention allows a parent with custody rights to start a petition when a child crosses international borders. There is a statute of limitations on the petition, though, and the court first has to decide if the man has any custody rights or not. With how things are going, it may take so long to determine whether or not he does that the statute of limitations will have run out -- the limit is one year -- even if it is found that he does have those rights.

Cases like this are incredibly complex, and they show that it's crucial to know all of your legal rights and how different legal decisions may impact one another.

Source: Davis Vanguard, "Yolo County DA Seeks Arrest Warrant in Child Custody Case," David Greenwald, July 27, 2016

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