Friday, December 18, 2009
A New Jersey man embroiled in a long custody battle over his 9-year-old son living in Brazil has won custody of the child.
A Brazilian federal court, in a closed session, ruled Wednesday that Sean Goldman should be returned to his father, David, at a U.S. Embassy on Friday.
Goldman has been working tirelessly for the past five years to get Sean returned to the United States. Bruna Bianchi, Goldman's ex-wife, took the child to her native Brazil in 2004 on what was supposed to be a two-week vacation.
She later remarried and died during child birth last year. Her Brazilian husband argued that he should have custody of Sean.
Over the summer, the boy's Brazilian family said Sean met with a psychologist and stated he wanted to stay there. Sean told the psychologist that if he was sent back to live with his father in New Jersey, he will "break down totally," according to a transcript of the interview with the child.
Over the summer, a lower court in Brazil had ruled that Sean be returned to the U.S. However, that decision was later put on hold by a Supreme Court justice based on a petition that argued removing Sean from his current family environment would hurt him.
However, during Wednesday's ruling the court agreed with Goldman that the boy belongs in New Jersey under an international treaty governing cross-border child abductions.
Read the full story here.
But see this CNN report on how the father's celebration was short-lived. Just hours after the appellate decree was entered, Brazil's high court issued an order prohibiting the father from removing his child back to the U.S. More on this case to come . . .