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Author Topic: Parental Abduction, child taken to Colombia  (Read 15040 times)

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Offline Jacobsfather

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Parental Abduction, child taken to Colombia
« on: April 29, 2012, 07:08:27 PM »
My ex wife and I were finalizing our divorce in June of 2009, I was living in Meridian, Idaho and She was living in greater Miami, FL. I had never retained a lawyer during the whole proceedings because we (I) were still somewhat cordial and we both had wanted the process to be as painless as possible. I was not in the state of Florida for the final hearing as I was told I did not have to be and so far as I believed, nothing was contested. Our custody agreement as it was sent to me was essentially having shared custody with residence being with my son Jacob's mother; Jacob would stay with me during the month of July and the first two weeks of December; any other visitation would be contingent upon 72 hours notice and both parties agreement. My ex-wife, Diana, drafted and sent the papers to me overnight, and I immediately signed, notarized, and over nighted the 7 papers right back to Diana. Two weeks later (about a week after final judgment) My ex-wife had stopped returning my phone calls and emails. Up to that point I was under the assumption that I would be flying out to Florida to pick up Jacob and was waiting to confirm dates and times. I then received a copy of the divorce decree and was devastated to find that Diana had kept only the last page of the Florida Custody Agreement with my notarized signature and redrafted an entirely different set of agreements that made it appear as though I waived all parental rights and had no desire to participate in the minor child's upbringing and the mother did not have to notify the father of their whereabouts. I immediately retained a lawyer, sold everything I owned, borrowed money, and took a paycut to transfer to a job in Florida. This has been a painfully slow and often fruitless campaign. It took me this long just to be able to throw out the final judgment. I now have an emergency pick up order and am working through the state department under the Hague Convention. I have not seen my son in three years. I have emailed, called, contacted relatives, tried to subpoena, advertised, and done it all again several times. This has been the single most painful event I have had to endure, and there is no end in sight. I still have to locate my son in Colombia, and then convince their government authorities to acknowledge my parental custody and somehow convince my son's mother to voluntarily place him in my custody. All of that being said, has ANYBODY had or is now dealing with the Colombian Government as it pertains to custody? Has anybody dealt with or is now dealing with the US State Department, specifically Mr. Slushers office? I have hired an additional Lawyer in Colombia, how much is a normal retainer? Any helpful hints, suggestions, or points of contacts would be tremendously appreciated. Best of luck to all you parents out there.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2012, 08:39:40 PM by LukieD »
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Offline SageDad

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Re: Parental Abduction, child taken to Colombia
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2012, 12:58:13 AM »
Basically all of Latin America, and most every Civil law country I can think of, is non-compliant with the Hague Convention.  I know of very few cases with Colombia personally but one man who may be able to provide some insight into how best to proceed is Isidoro Rodriguez.  I've never worked with, or comunicated with, him personally, but he has a pretty extensive legal background in both countries and an intimate familiarity with these types of cases having litigated one for his own son.
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Offline Jacobsfather

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Re: Parental Abduction, child taken to Colombia
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2012, 11:33:02 AM »
I originally thought that Columbia was not a party to the Hague Convention, but they are somehow covered, I am not a hundred percent sure how. The representatives from the US State department has Hague representatives in Columbia, but I am only in my second week of submitting documentation and have not begun the Colombian side of locating my son. Do you have contact info for Mr. Rodriguez? What I really need is a private investigator to locate my son so that his mother can actually be served with papers (the most challenging part of this entire process for me) and possibly monitor her during the custody transfer so as to prevent her from further evading authorities. An issue that has become apparent is the inability to trust anyone without being extorted or possibly selling information to my ex-wife.
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Offline LukieD

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Re: Parental Abduction, child taken to Colombia
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2012, 12:01:44 PM »
There's some country-specific information on the State Dept's website you might find helpful here:

http://travel.state.gov/abduction/country/country_3057.html


Offline SageDad

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Re: Parental Abduction, child taken to Colombia
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2012, 01:17:01 PM »
Colombia is a signatory to the Hague Convention.  You can read a bit about their history of compliance with it here:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_child_abduction_in_the_United_States#Latin_America


Most of the information there is a summary of the State Department's country specific information flyer (linked above by LukieD) and details that have been included in past Compliance Reports.
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Offline StrngConviction

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Re: Parental Abduction, child taken to Colombia
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2012, 09:26:37 PM »
If she did something Illegal and the authorities know this , spend your money getting the charges pressed and getting the FBI involved ASAP so they can extradite her.
 The Hague as it stands will only cost you money and your child if she acquired an order she can present to the columbia authorities as valid when she left.What happens in cases like yours is they drag it on till the child is settled and your out of money. A foreign country will not look behind a court order that was valid when she left.
Please , get the charges pressed and get an extradition ASAP, time is of the essence.
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Offline Jacobsfather

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Re: Parental Abduction, child taken to Colombia
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2012, 01:05:29 AM »
For my custody case the most difficult thing was getting the final judgment vacated, the better part of 2 years has been just trying to make any contact with my son's mother to serve her with a subpoena or convince the judge that the original order was fraudulent. I dont see my ex-wife coming back to the jurisdiction of the Broward County Courts to explain herself and risk criminal charges and certainly have Jacob placed in my custody. I do have an emergency pick up order (effectively throwing out the final judgment) authorizing any US Law enforcement officer or representative to take Jacob and immediately place him into my custody. The State Department also has a hold on my son's Passport. You are right about the validity of the court order as it read when she left, but my argument has and continues to be that that order was rendered as a result of defrauding the court. The facts of the case require all parties to be in front of a judge to sort this out. What I really need is a Genie and 3 wishes.
"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing..."

Offline StrngConviction

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Re: Parental Abduction, child taken to Colombia
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2012, 07:53:33 AM »
thats why i said pursue charges so the FBI can force her back. Under  Hague guidelines , the country she is in will not force her back because when she left she had the custody, no matter how she got it , she got it.  In other words she DID NOT  wrongfully remove the child because she had the order. We in America know she got that order through fraud but until she is convicted of that the order still stands in their country. So dont fall for that Hague BS and not press criminal charges or you will have wasted to much time. My prayers are with you buddy.
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Offline LukieD

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Re: Parental Abduction, child taken to Colombia
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2012, 09:34:09 AM »
If she did something Illegal and the authorities know this , spend your money getting the charges pressed and getting the FBI involved ASAP so they can extradite her.

I don't think one could reasonably expect Colombia to extradite one of its citizen's for these offenses. Maybe for drug trafficking, but not child abduction-related offenses. From the State Dept handbook on Colombia:

"Provide information concerning the criminal aspects of the case, including the use of federal and state criminal warrants against an abducting parent, passport revocation, and extradition from a foreign country to effect return of a child to the U.S.[there’s no extradition from Colombia in these cases, so why mention it?]

Here's an article on some changes Colombia was considering making to its extradition treaty with the U.S.

http://colombiareports.com/colombia-news/news/9515-court-considers-amending-us-extradition-treaty.html

Offline StrngConviction

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Re: Parental Abduction, child taken to Colombia
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2012, 10:34:00 PM »
I would mention it because if she had a court order of full custody, the Hague is not going to do him any good.
 I sure dont expect them to hand her over for no reason as the state  dept. would suggest. Like i said , the hague is worthless if she had a legal document to hand to her government, signatory  State or not.  I, the FBI ,and the Dept. of Homeland Security  believe  if your child was kidnapped as mine was( through fraud of the court and forgery ) you can waste time and not press charges , spend all your money on attorneys and get thrown to the way side like most of us that had an order for return did or do what is suggested by getting charges against her and hope Columbia does start extraditing or she comes back to the states and they catch her and your child at a port.
   Ireland refuses to look past an Order My Ex illegally got even with the police statements that she is wanted in question to forgery charges and the fraud on the court, aaaand  a judges order for his return aaaand an afidavit of law stating she abducted him that was hired by their court. I couldnt imagine being in a spot like yours and not starting off with criminal charges.
 As far as the post saying "No extraditions in these cases" that is correct because a Hague trial is a civil , not a criminal court. Its two different Beasts.

I don't think one could reasonably expect Colombia to extradite one of its citizen's for these offenses. Maybe for drug trafficking, but not child abduction-related offenses. From the State Dept handbook on Colombia:

"Provide information concerning the criminal aspects of the case, including the use of federal and state criminal warrants against an abducting parent, passport revocation, and extradition from a foreign country to effect return of a child to the U.S.[there’s no extradition from Colombia in these cases, so why mention it?]

Here's an article on some changes Colombia was considering making to its extradition treaty with the U.S.

http://colombiareports.com/colombia-news/news/9515-court-considers-amending-us-extradition-treaty.html
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Offline LukieD

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Re: Parental Abduction, child taken to Colombia
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2012, 10:39:35 PM »
"Provide information concerning the criminal aspects of the case, including the use of federal and state criminal warrants against an abducting parent, passport revocation, and extradition from a foreign country to effect return of a child to the U.S.[there’s no extradition from Colombia in these cases, so why mention it?]

You know, as I go back and read this again, I'm not sure the bolded text above was intended to be part of the State Dept's webpage. Seems like perhaps it was meant as an edit to an earlier draft and got left in the material the State Dept posted online. Either way, it says something about the likely success of any attempts to extradite a parental child abductor.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2012, 10:42:58 PM by LukieD »

Offline StrngConviction

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Re: Parental Abduction, child taken to Colombia
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2012, 10:43:13 PM »
im glad to see in your URL post of extraditions their proposal includes humanity crimes. Thanks for the URLs LukieD
« Last Edit: May 02, 2012, 10:46:38 PM by StrngConviction »
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Offline LukieD

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Re: Parental Abduction, child taken to Colombia
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2012, 10:42:51 AM »
This is perhaps the better line to quote from the State Dept report I link to above:

"Criminal Aspects:  The crime of international parental abduction is covered in the Colombian Penal Code as simple kidnapping, with circumstances that can increase or reduce the punishment. Colombia does not consider international parental kidnapping as an extraditable offense. "

Offline StrngConviction

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Re: Parental Abduction, child taken to Colombia
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2012, 10:30:14 PM »
Ya , were caught by our cohonas in any country it seems lukieD. your the bomb , thanks

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Offline Jacobsfather

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Re: Parental Abduction, child taken to Colombia
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2012, 01:09:42 PM »
This is all great stuff, I wish I had known this when I started 3 years ago.
"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing..."