Dennis Burns, a father whose children were taken to Argentina by their mother, has regained custody of his two young daughters after fighting for fathers rights in US and Argentinian courts.


Court Order Favors Father’s Rights


The custody battle started four and a half years ago when a once happily married couple ended up in bitter divorce proceedings in a Colorado Court. The Colorado judge issued an order declaring Burns as the primary residential parent while the mother, who hails from Argentina, was given only supervised visitation.


Days after the custody order, the Argentinian mother took her two daughters who were only 4 and 2 years old at the time, to Buenos Aires, Argentina, in violation of an existing court order for the continued stay of the children in the United States.


Burns continued his battle in Argentina where legal appeals initiated by his ex-wife dragged the custody case for years. It finally ended with the Argentinian Supreme Court confirming the father’s right of custody and ordering the return of the children to their father.


Burns flew to Argentina and was reunited with his children who are now 8 and 6 years old.


International Law Affecting Custody


The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is aimed primarily at promptly returning children who are abducted by their own parents and brought to another country. Argentina is a signatory of this convention but the case of Dennis Burns and his daughters dragged on for years due to legal maneuvers initiated by the children’s mother in Argentina.


Enforcing Father’s Rights in California


California laws favor shared parenting rights for children of divorcing couples. Depending on the circumstances of each case, the family court may issue an order granting primary custody to one parent and visitation to the other.


No two cases can have the same outcome. When both parties are able to agree on ground rules for visitation and custody, the court may approve their agreement without passing judgment on anyone’s right of custody. In highly contested cases, the court will consider the several factors but the paramount criterion is the child’s best interest.


In Carlsbad, California, the law firm of Fischer & Van Thiel has more than 50 years of combined experience in family law matters, including the enforcement of father’s rights. We also handle other types of family law litigation including divorce and dissolution, military divorce, child support, spousal support, domestic violence, and restraining orders.


We welcome your call at (760) 722-7669 to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our attorneys.