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A Duel for Dual Citizenship: International Battles Over Child Custody

Posted on in Divorce

Child Custody agreements for any family can become a convoluted, strenuous battle that can take several years to finally be resolved. A prime example of the stress that encompasses child custody disputes is the case Redmond v. Redmond, which involves a local Illinois woman who became engaged in a child custody battle with her child’s father, a citizen of Ireland.

 international child custody dispute IMAGEThe Battle Overseas

The couple in this case, Mary and Derek, met each other in Ireland. Although they were never married, they lived together in Ireland for 11 years. Their son, however, was born in Illinois, but the three of them returned to Ireland 11 days after the birth.

A few months later, however, Mary moved back to Illinois against Derek’s wishes. Although their child is a citizen of the United States, Derek argues that he should have joint custody of their child. The U.S. Appeals Court ultimately held that their son should be returned to the United States while the custody order is pending. With the various legal complexities, including unmarried parents and parents with different citizenships, this case may take several years before it is finally resolved. The Redmond case proves just how costly and exhausting child custody cases may become, and how many different issues can arise in each unique case.

Child Custody Laws in Illinois

Pursuant to Illinois law, no child custody disputes can be resolved until after the child is born. Illinois, like several other states, encourages the use of mediums such as collaboration, mediation, and arbitration in order to reach child custody arrangements. If the parents still cannot create an agreement through these processes, then a family court will create an agreement that is in the best interests of the child. According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, some factors that determine what is in the best interests include:

  • The child’s wishes;
  • The child’s ties to his/her community;
  • The safety and welfare of the child;
  • The child’s sense of attachments.

Determining child custody also determines child support. In Illinois, the payment of child support is mediated through the Child Support Payment Act, which sets forth the duty of the non-custodial parent to provide monetary support for the child.

Child custody battles do not have to be such an intense battle, and finding the right attorneys can turn a several-year long process into something as stress-free as possible. Children should not have to suffer through the raft of combating parents, and parents should work together with the best help they can get in order to come up with an agreement that works for both of them while still being in the best interests of their child.

For more information on child custody matters, family law, and/or divorce, please contact a professional Illinois family and divorce attorney that can help you or someone you know through this stressful time.
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