dad needs international custody lawyer

            Posted on May 10, 2015  

            Dad needs international custody lawyer

Q. Four years ago, I married a woman from Moscow. I met her on a website advertising women who wanted to marry Americans. We have a 3-year- old daughter whom I cared for a lot while my wife was getting her MBA – the tuition for which I paid.


We lived together in Worcester but separated a few months ago. She moved with our daughter to what she called her temporary address in Malden. A month ago my wife served me with divorce papers plus a notice to be in court in a few weeks. She wants sole legal and physical custody of our child, plus temporary alimony and child support.

In the meantime, my wife took our daughter to Moscow. She said she’s leaving the child there when she comes back for the hearing, and after the hearing, she’s going back to Russia.

Do you think I’ll ever see my child again?

G.M., Worcester

A. You need to get off your behind and hire a lawyer who, like me, has represented people in international divorce and custody cases.


In 2011 the Russian Federation joined the Hague Convention of the Civil Aspects of International child abduction. Although there has yet to be a bilateral treaty between the USA and the Federation, expect Russia to enforce an order requiring your wife to return the child to Massachusetts.

So, your lawyer has to quickly prepare the required documents and your affidavit. Get affidavits from everyone - friends, religious leader, co-workers, and students – who saw you care for your child. File those in both a civil abduction case you file against your wife and in the probate court case. In both cases, demand your wife be ordered to immediately return your child to Massachusetts and into your temporary custody.
Although you might think she’d do no such thing, expect her to claim you were abusive to her and to your child. That’s why your affidavits are so important because they’ll say how caring, careful, loving, and protective you were with your child and how nice you were to your wife. The main point is that you must knock down the kinds of nasty arguments she might make before she makes them. In that way she may not make them. The judge should order your wife to immediately bring the child back here – even if the child stays in her custody.

If she fails to bring the child back, your lawyer should get the needed court orders and a judgment that are likely to be enforced in Moscow.

Also respond to her motions saying no support or alimony order should be entered until she brings your daughter back to Massachusetts.

In other words, she married an American. Now show her how to be American Strong!