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5-year child custody dispute ends with child fleeing Mexico

Custody arrangements for children after a divorce can be a contentious issue. This is further compounded when one of the parents lives in a different jurisdiction than the other. For one couple, their prolonged child custody battle lasted five years and involved legal intervention from Canada and Mexico.

The former husband and wife, now ages 63 and 46 respectively, met in 1997. She had been a hairstylist in Czechoslovakia, and he is a Yemeni-Canadian businessman and owner of an Ontario flour mill. They began living together in 2003, and their son came along in 2004. The pair separated in 2011.

The custody issue began when the boy went on vacation with his father to Mexico, where he owns property, in 2011. The pair did not return. He is alleged to have cut off his ex-wife's support payments, forcing her to take on two jobs, and making visiting her son extremely difficult. Once payments were restored, she used the money to take the issue to court. Mexican authorities ordered the boy returned to his mother, but ultimately she had to get an emergency travel document from officials in Canada before coaxing her son into sneaking out of his father's son in late August 2016.

Not all child custody cases are this complex, but many are difficult, especially emotionally. Even when both parties want the best for the child or children, conflicting opinions can lead to bitter litigation. It is always hoped that situations like this can be avoided, but unfortunately it's not always possible. Using the services of a family law firm will at least ensure that the best interests of the client and the child will be represented.

Source:, "Toronto mother reunites with son after five-year international legal battle", Nicholas Keung, Sept. 28, 2016

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