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Uphill Brazilian Battle for Child Custody (4/28 - also mentions Pate case)

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Uphill Brazilian Battle for Child Custody
Published : Tuesday, 27 Apr 2010, 6:19 PM CDT

RICHMOND, Texas - A Fort Bend County father is getting custody of his son after a four-year battle in Brazil. Kelvin Birotte was granted custody of his son by a Brazilian judge.

Birotte's wife was actually on the Brazilian women's volleyball team and won a bronze medal at the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996. Birotte says 10 years after that, his wife took his son to Brazil for a visit and never came back.

"The law is pretty clear on that. You can't take a kid from one country to another without proper authorization. The mom actually kidnapped the child. Basically, that's what she didl," says Kelvin Birotte's Attorney, Divine Sanjoh.

Birotte, an American, and Hilma Caldeira from Brazil, married in Las Vegas in 2004. In 2005, their son Kelvin Jr. was born. Less than one year later, Birotte says his wife was asking for his signature to get their son a passport. He says she told him she was going for a two-week visit to Brazil but she never returned to the United States.

The Houston-area father has spent four years and thousands of dollars trying to get his son back.

"More than 10, 20-thousand dollars," says Sanjoh.

Kelvin Birotte is not alone. More than sixty American children are said to be living in Brazil after being abducted by a parent.

Houston father Marty Pate knows that all too well. He is also four years into fighting to get custody of his daughter back from her mother in Brazil. It is a fight he still has not won. Brazil has been known for years to grant custody to the Brazilian native. Almost all Americans who have had custody fights in Brazil have lost.

Just a few months ago, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Brazil encouraging officials there to allow Americans to have fair custody fights. Kelvin Birotte's fight, by the way, may not be over. Birotte says his wife first took his son into hiding after the judge's decision in his favor, then she filed for an appeal.

Another story from today. The Google translation is really awful, but if I'm reading it correctly, even Hilma's attorney doesn't know where she is.

Hilma with her son on the eve of deadline
By Tatiana Lagôa

The specified period ends tomorrow for Justice for the son of former volleyball player Hilma Caldeira is delivered to the parent, the American Kelvin Birotte. But even the lawyer of former national team athlete knows the whereabouts of her and the boy of four years.

Following the Hague Convention, which gives the right to native who stayed in the country of origin of the child, the judge of 19th Circuit Federal de Minas Gerais, Otoni João César de Matos, gave assent to return the boy to the United States.

The decision was taken on April 14. Since then the former player came to be appointed as international kidnapper.

Hilma and Kelvin disputing custody of the child since 2006, when she came to Brazil with the child and divorced after falling out with then-husband by telephone.

Soon after the court order, the bronze medalist in the Olympics in Atlanta (1996) have traveled to a site with family, according to her lawyer, Gilberto Antônio Guimarães. "This is a trip she had planned. Before going, she told me that he would remain there for 15 days to rest. This trip has nothing to do with the process," he said Guimaraes.

The lawyer believes that the "disappearance" will not harm it in the proceedings for custody of the child. "There was no determination that she could not travel. She has the constitutional right to come and go," he said.

A specialist in international law of family Suzana Cremasco, Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), believes, however, will not be simple. "If the officers of Justice seeking the boy at home and not find it, the lawyer for the father can claim that she violated a court order. In this case, it can be fined or even imprisoned," he explained.

The doctorate in international law Ruff Aziz Saliba also UFMG, agrees. "The judge can understand that this imbalance is a sample of the mother and decide that the child should really be with the father," he said.

That's correct, it says "not even her attorney knows where she is".

He says it was a planned trip - I recall hearing that before, but it wasn't in this case :rolleyes:

How could he know it's a planned trip, but not know where to?

If it smells like poo and looks like poo, it is  :shitstorm

Can't trust the woman: remember she said she was going to "marry a new man" and he would never see his son again? The nerve. Waiting for this story to be over tomorrow!


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