Court permits daughters to stay in Arizona in custody fight; Kaine Fisher, Chairman of Rose Law Group Family Law Department, comments

custody-logo-fullBy Jack Fitzpatrick | Cronkite New Service

A federal appeals court said Friday that a Mexican woman cannot invoke an international convention on child abduction to get back her twin daughters, whose father has refused to return them from his home in Arizona.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court that rejected Blanca Reyes Valenzuela’s argument because she and the father, Steve Michel, had agreed that their daughters should split their time between Mexico and the U.S.

Since the children were “habitually resident” in Arizona, the Hague Convention on International Aspects of Child Abduction does not apply, the courts ruled.

Do you agree with the court’s ruling? Use the comment box at the end of the story.


Statement by Kaine Fisher, chairman of Rose Law Group Family Law Department: This seems like the right result from a fairness standpoint. I question, though, whether the father went through the proper channels to obtain an order modifying the court-ordered parenting plan before withholding the children. I must give the mother some credit for her creativity, but this type of situation is clearly not what the law was intended to address.

If you’d like to discuss family law, contact with Kaine Fisher, chairman of Rose Law Group Family Law Department,

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November 2013