PLEASE NOTE: Information in this article is correct at the time of publication, please contact DFA Law for current advice on older articles.
Relationships that start on the Internet are already leading to some interesting situations. A recent family case involved a British woman who had met a Pakistani man online and married him in the USA, where the couple had two children.
Her husband had been taken to the USA as a child, and is strictly an illegal immigrant, although he does not face deportation because as a child immigrant he has ‘deferred action’ status. However, were he to leave the USA, his readmission would be unlikely. His wife had irregularities associated with her time in the USA (which had originally been under a 90-day tourist visa) and she might not be allowed to re-enter the country.
The mother returned to the UK in December 2016 with the two children, who are dual-nationals. The father applied to have them returned to the USA. A judge decided that the children should be returned to their father whether or not the mother could obtain a US visa.
She appealed against the decision and the Court of Appeal, applying the law set out in the 1980 Hague Convention on Child Abduction, concluded that the return of the children to the USA without their mother would enforce an indeterminate separation and that this was intolerable. The children would return to the US only if the mother were granted a visa.
The father was granted permission to return to the Court if the mother does not pursue a visa application.
Arguments regarding children where there is an international dimension require skill and experience to bring to a satisfactory conclusion. Contact us for advice on any issue relating to family law.