International Child Custody Dispute Nearing Resolution
An Illinois mother is searching for a way to reunite with her son for Christmas. The boy has been in the middle of an international custody battle between mother Mary Redmond and father Derek Redmond.
What separates this from most custody battles is that in this case, the parents are living in different countries. While Mary Redmond is located in the United States, Derek Redmond lives in Ireland. The two met while Mary was attending a community college in Ireland. Both parents lived together for nearly ten years when she gave birth to the boy in early 2007. Shortly after the birth of their son, the relationship between the two fell apart.
Six years later, the parents were looking to the courts to make a judgment call in who should be the one to raise the child. The father has faced some difficulty in the situation, as unmarried fathers traditionally do not hold any custody rights in Ireland. Still, joint custody of the child was granted by the Irish court.
The mother left Ireland with the boy shortly after to visit the United States, but broke the promise she had made to the judge to return to the country with the boy. Since both she and the boy had United States citizenship, she had planned to permanently remain in the United States, which was against the terms of the Irish custody agreement.
Derek Redmond contested the matter, asserting the actions taken by the mother were in violation of international abduction laws. The claim got the attention of the United States courts. Initially, U.S. District Court Judge Charles Norgle ordered Mary Redmond to return the boy to the father.
Norgle's decision would be overturned under the basis that the mother exclusively had the right to decide where her son is raised. However, by the time the decision was overturned, the boy had already been transported back to Ireland to live with the father.
The fate of the child is now up to the Irish court. Since she had violated the Judge's order to return with the child from the United States, she is no longer in a favorable position in their eyes. Even though the United States has approved Mary Redmond's custody of the child, it means nothing unless the Irish court comes to the same conclusion.
Get in touch with one of our child custody attorneys if you need advice on how to handle a family conflict involving divorce or separation.