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Offline tweinstein

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Background Information
« on: February 24, 2009, 12:13:00 PM »
I married my wife on December 21, 1996, in Pittsburgh, PA. Our first child, Paul, was born April 2, 1998 in Pittsburgh. Our second child, Anna, was born February 20, 2001, in Pittsburgh. Both Paul and Anna have Brazilian passports due to their mother's nationality(1). As a result of our marriage, my wife also has both Brazilian and United States passports.  
  Throughout our marriage, my wife regularly took the children to Brazil each winter and summer. Starting when Paul entered Kindergarten, I did not allow her to take him in the winter as he would be missing school. In June, 2006, my wife left for Brazil with the children. Her return was scheduled for August 2006. I visited Brazil, as usual, in July of 2006. About the date of her return, my wife notified me that she would be staying in Brazil with the children.

In September, 2006, I sought a court order in the United States to establish their habitual residency, seek their return, and obtain primary custody. The court established residency, ordered the return of the children but gave primary custody to my wife(2). Although I did not obtain primary custody, my custodial rights were preserved as required to petition under the Hague Convention. My wife was properly notified and had legal representation at the hearing.  

In response to the order in the United States, my wife obtained a court order in Brazil giving her full custody of the children and legitimizing her presence in Brazil with the children. Her attorney cited as evidence a United Nations law that has never been accepted as valid by the United States(3). Being as I was not notified of the hearing, I did not have legal representation.

In October, 2006, I petitioned the U.S. Department of State under the Hague Convention. I registered my children and wife with Interpol. They immediately transmitted my request to the Brazilian Central Authority. Despite providing 2 valid addresses and multiple phone numbers, Brazil did not file a case against my wife until July, 2007. They claimed that Brazilian Interpol took that long to locate my children(4). In March, 2008, I was given 10 days notice to be in Brazil for a hearing about the case.

At this point and since the illegal retention:
a. There has not been a ruling and I do not foresee one coming in the near future.

b. My wife continues to be in defiance of the order of court in the United States.

c. There have been 4 different case workers at the Department of State, Office of Children Issues. Because communication between them and the Brazilian Central Authority(BCA) is strained, I have learned the majority of developments in my case through unofficial channels such as the BCA themselves, the federal attorney handling my case, my children or wife(5).

d. I have been able to maintain a relationship with my children and hope that through this, they will choose to live in the United States when they get older.

Footnotes
1. If one of the parents of a child is a Brazilian citizen, then the child is a Brazilian citizen, regardless of place of birth                         or any other citizenship that may be possessed by the child.

2. My wife was a stay-at-home mother and as such, was considered by the courts to be the primary caregiver. My attorney explained to me that the court's preference is generally to maintain status-quo and the ruling did NOT in any way express a determination of my fitness as a parent.

3. This law is designed to ensure the safety of children in war-torn areas such as Afghanistan or Somalia.

4. My wife has never hidden the children. Thus it should have taken Interpol no more than a few days to "locate" them.

5. Information from my children is limited to comments such a "I was visited today by a psychologist" or "My mother is at the lawyer's office". I do NOT believe they understand their presence in Brazil as illegal.
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« Last Edit: April 30, 2009, 08:46:22 PM by tweinstein »

Offline Teena

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Re: Background Information
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2009, 10:24:41 PM »
Hopefully you won't have to wait for them to make a decision when they are older, Tim. Maybe all this publicity for David will help you get your children home sooner.
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Offline sue

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Re: Background Information
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2009, 03:56:56 PM »
I've never asked this question, but would like to know.  Do you have any way of knowing when your wife might leave the Country (Brazil)?  If so, say she flew to Canada or Europe and you were aware of this, could you call the authorities there and have your children held?  Since there has been an order of return from the United States?  My mind is really going today.  It seems like if she were to leave Brazil then she's not protected.

Offline tweinstein

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Re: Background Information
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2009, 06:53:05 PM »
Quote from: gail;965
I've never asked this question, but would like to know.  Do you have any way of knowing when your wife might leave the Country (Brazil)?  If so, say she flew to Canada or Europe and you were aware of this, could you call the authorities there and have your children held?  Since there has been an order of return from the United States?  My mind is really going today.  It seems like if she were to leave Brazil then she's not protected.

You are exactly correct. One of the first things you have to do when you file a case under the Hague Convention is to register your children and the abductor with Interpol.

http://www.interpol.int/public/icpo/default.asp

It would be foolish to think that I haven't thought of offering a nice ski vacation to Argentina or Chile (two countries that not only were early-adopters of the Hague Convention, but are compliant). My wife's not that dumb (or at least her attorney isn't) to let that happen.

Offline sue

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Re: Background Information
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2009, 07:38:28 PM »
I certainly didn't think you hadn't thought of it, I just did.  And I was wondering if the other Country would hold the children for you....I'm glad they will and maybe someday she will mess up.  I know I couldn't stay  in one place that long.  Thank you for answering me.

Offline tweinstein

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Re: Background Information
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2009, 07:56:11 PM »
My understanding is that they would be detained and I would file an emergency appeal in the country they were in. I was speaking today with another left-behind father who indicated that his child's mother is, like Bruna was, a socialite, for whom the lack of travel privileges is starting to take a toll.

Offline sue

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Re: Background Information
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2009, 08:02:13 PM »
That's what I would think.  I couldn't stand being in Hawaii for 2 weeks, let alone living there and not being able to leave.

Offline sue

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Re: Background Information
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2009, 12:39:30 PM »
Another question.  Has your ex mentioned this case to you?  And the fact that Brazil is under so much heat over the Hague?

Offline tweinstein

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Re: Background Information
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2009, 02:17:11 PM »
Quote from: gail;1125
Another question.  Has your ex mentioned this case to you?  And the fact that Brazil is under so much heat over the Hague?

We are separated and have not divorced(the primary reason is the ongoing Hague case). She has said nothing of this case to me, though I have made sure that her mother and sisters, with whom she has close contact, are fully aware. In fact, I spoke to her mother today and told her that she needed to buy today's edition of Veja. She indicated that she would.

My case is the only one that I know of in the state of Bahia(the most populous state in the northeast coast). You need to remember a few things:
1. As Roger or Andre said, CNN is not carried by most of the cable companies. It is only available to those with satellites.
2. Most people read the local paper. Veja is the first nationwide print publication to carry the story. Most of the coverage has been focused in Rio.
3. Internet access is not nearly as wide-spread in Brazil as in the United States. Anything on the internet would only be viewed by the minority of population with enough money for a computer and internet.

To sum up my answer, at this point, there has NOT been much pressure felt inside of Brazil by the majority of people.

Offline tweinstein

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Re: Background Information
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2009, 02:32:34 PM »
One more thing that I forgot to mention in my first reply. I have actually been contacted by a number of Brazilian journalists in the past week. I discussed with the other left-behind fathers that I am in contact with whether we should make our individual stories public within Brazil or whether we would like to emphasize the country's non-compliance of the Hague Convention.

Because most of us still have some degree of contact with our children, we are very hesitant to publicly antagonize our childrens' mothers. David has nothing to lose by making his fight public in Brazil. Most of us are forced to constantly balance between passivity and aggression in our fight for our children.

Offline sue

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Re: Background Information
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2009, 06:36:21 PM »
That would be hard.  I don't know what I would do.

Offline Teena

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Re: Background Information
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2009, 11:33:45 PM »
Quote from: tweinstein;1158
One more thing that I forgot to mention in my first reply. I have actually been contacted by a number of Brazilian journalists in the past week. I discussed with the other left-behind fathers that I am in contact with whether we should make our individual stories public within Brazil or whether we would like to emphasize the country's non-compliance of the Hague Convention.
 
Because most of us still have some degree of contact with our children, we are very hesitant to publicly antagonize our childrens' mothers. David has nothing to lose by making his fight public in Brazil. Most of us are forced to constantly balance between passivity and aggression in our fight for our children.

Timothy, Im glad that the newspapers are contacting you also. The more that people know this is not just one case (david and Sean) the better for all the left behind parents.
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Offline jdv28

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Re: Background Information
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2009, 05:02:04 PM »
Tim...couldn't BOTH making your stories made public & spotlighting non-compliance happen at the sametime?  The fathers that wish to come forth could do so, and the ones hesitant could keep low and just put forth their effort in the topic of the non-compliance?  Just wondering.  At 1st (my story is in state USA) I didn't want to cause waves, and that just gave my ex more power to spin whatever back story he wished to spin.  I spoke up to late defending myself to his lies.  Too many had believed his story by then, and now my son.
I say that to say this...by not causing waves, I looked guilty of what my ex decided was truth for him.  I FINALLY reached to my EX mom-in-law thinking it couldn't hurt what already has been done.  She believed what he had said, until I spoke my side, she now has nothing to do with him, it was like putting pieces of a puzzle together for her.  Everything finally made sense as to why my EX her SON has done or said things the way he did or put them.
 
Tim...do you find ANY comfort that you do speak to your mom-in-law?  Has she heard your side?  Do they understand the ramafications (ms) of what their daughter or sister has done?  I want to pull these womens hair out myself, not your in-laws but all these MOTHERS that are just leaving with the kids, provided they are not running for protection of an abusive spouse.  I'm am here to say not all mothers are this way, or fathers.  The can live apart sharing their little ones.
 
Sorry this subject just gets me so angry, & as I said before, this angry mother has alot of juice to help more fathers AND mothers.  
 
Tim...I'm on your boat now  too...so scoot over!!!   Jill
Give MORE these:hug:  & LESS these :argue:

Offline tweinstein

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Re: Background Information
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2009, 07:12:16 PM »
Quote from: jdv28;1560
Tim...couldn't BOTH making your stories made public & spotlighting non-compliance happen at the same time?  The fathers that wish to come forth could do so, and the ones hesitant could keep low and just put forth their effort in the topic of the non-compliance?  Just wondering.  At 1st (my story is in state USA) I didn't want to cause waves, and that just gave my ex more power to spin whatever back story he wished to spin.  I spoke up to late defending myself to his lies.  Too many had believed his story by then, and now my son.
I say that to say this...by not causing waves, I looked guilty of what my ex decided was truth for him.  I FINALLY reached to my EX mom-in-law thinking it couldn't hurt what already has been done.  She believed what he had said, until I spoke my side, she now has nothing to do with him, it was like putting pieces of a puzzle together for her.  Everything finally made sense as to why my EX her SON has done or said things the way he did or put them.
 
Tim...do you find ANY comfort that you do speak to your mom-in-law?  Has she heard your side?  Do they understand the ramafications (ms) of what their daughter or sister has done?  I want to pull these womens hair out myself, not your in-laws but all these MOTHERS that are just leaving with the kids, provided they are not running for protection of an abusive spouse.  I'm am here to say not all mothers are this way, or fathers.  The can live apart sharing their little ones.
 
Sorry this subject just gets me so angry, & as I said before, this angry mother has alot of juice to help more fathers AND mothers.  
 
Tim...I'm on your boat now  too...so scoot over!!!   Jill
Jill, I hope that after you read my response to your thoughts, you'll feel a little better.

First, my in-laws understand that their daughter was wrong and completely support me. This is not to say that they don't blame me to a small degree for what ultimately happened. They blame me for permitting my wife to travel to Brazil so frequently during the marriage. They feel that had I not paid for the flights, my wife would have likely acclimated to life in the United States, thus removing her desire to flee back "home". Unfortunately, they are not in a position to force their daughter to bring the children back. When I go to Brazil to visit my children, I actually stay at their house and they do the best they can to make me feel welcome.

My wife's sisters also understand that she was wrong and are VERY angry with her, but have a somewhat different perspective. They both divorced in Brazil and their ex-husbands essentially abandoned their children. Both raised their children alone and do not fully understand the essential role of a father in a child's life. They recognize however that this does not in anyway excuse their sister's behavior. Their anger is largely a result of how they perceive that their sister treated them and their mother. They view her as a hypocrite for she always commented how they "dumped" their children on their mother to care for after the divorce, yet ultimately she did the exact same thing after the abduction. Interestingly, they blame the poor relationship between the U.S. and Brazil for their country's lack of compliance with the Hague Convention.

Most importantly, I have no evidence that my wife has ever tried to poison my childrens' minds and paradoxically even encourages communication between myself and them. Yesterday I was discussing David Goldman's case with my son as an indirect way to gauge what he understood of why he was in Brazil. He actually indicated for the first time an understanding that my wife unilaterally decided to stay in Brazil.

As you can see, I have a lot of support in Brazil and regular access to my children by phone and in person(so long as I am willing and able to travel to Brazil). David's situation is priority number one as he does not even have regular access to Sean. As time goes on, I am becoming more secure in my belief that as long as I can maintain a healthy relationship with my children, they will ultimately choose the United States. If miraculously I can get a court order from a Brazilian judge returning them before then, even better.

At this point in the battle, I am trying to be realistic. Of course, I'm angry and hurt. However, I have found that projecting these emotions was not making the situation any better for me or my children.

Offline mfer

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Re: Background Information
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2009, 02:03:11 AM »
Quote from: tweinstein;1579
Yesterday I was discussing David Goldman's case with my son as an indirect way to gauge what he understood of why he was in Brazil. He actually indicated for the first time an understanding that my wife unilaterally decided to stay in Brazil.

At this point in the battle, I am trying to be realistic. Of course, I'm angry and hurt. However, I have found that projecting these emotions was not making the situation any better for me or my children.

timothy, i am so glad you have the support of your ex's family.  i wish it could do more to help judicially speaking.

good for you for staying on task & not getting caught up w/ anger & hurt.  they are completely understandable emotions.  but ultimately will not be productive in regaining custody & will further poison the situation.  especially w/ the children.  you are a good man & your children are fortunate to have you.