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Custody battle over kids taken to Argentina

Child custody battles are tough and emotionally draining, even when parents are in the same town. Imagine then the emotions and frustrations arising in an ongoing child custody fight in which the father is in the U.S. and the mother has fled to Argentina, taking her two young daughters with her. The trip to Argentina occurred over three years ago, and the two girls are now seven and four. During that time, the father says he has only seen pictures of his children but has not been able to visit with them.

The father says that taking the children out of the country flew in the face of existing child custody arrangements approved by a court. He is now trying to get an order from a court in Argentina authorizing him to bring his daughters back to the U.S.

The couple was married in 2004 and became estranged about five years later. The mother wanted a divorce and made allegations of abuse against her husband. He denied those accusations and a court ruled they were unfounded. The court also denied the mother's request to take the children to Argentina. But subsequently, she apparently took them out of the country despite the court's order.

Many parents in Arizona have also experienced difficulty child custody battles. The worst are when one parent makes false charges of abuse or unfitness against another or uses the children as pawns in a running battle with their ex-spouse. Custody decisions are supposed to be made in the best interests of the children, and children really need the presence, whenever possible, of both parents in their lives.

Source: CNN, "Colorado Dad Fights - and Waits - for Daughters Taken By Mom to Argentina" Elizabeth Stuart and Ana Cabrera, Nov. 12, 2013

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