New Jersey dad David Goldman reunites with his son after a 4 year abduction

According to NBC News, four years ago, David Goldman allowed his then wife Bruna Goldman to take their 4 year old son Sean to Brazil to visit relatives. Bruna never returned to the U.S.  Instead she hid out in Brazil  and divorced Goldman in the Brazilian courts, exparte (only one side present at the hearings). And for the last four years, she refused to let this man see his son. See, this was wrong. This was very, very wrong.
To make matters worse, even though Brazil is a member of the Hague Convention, as I wrote yesterday, many of the Hague signatory countries treat the treaty like it’s a piece of worthless paper. They do not enforce the treaty which requires that when  a child is abducted and taken from his/her primary country of residence, the law enforcement in the country where the child is taken (if that country signed on to the Hague) should facilitate the return of the child to his country of residence, and should not hear custody cases in that foreign forum.
But according to the infamous Economist article that I keep quoting which I read last weekend (I won’t get into the back story, but there is one) there are about nine countries that are an absolute risk as far as getting your child back if your spouse abducts the child and takes the child to these countries, and I think Brazil might be one of them. You can read the post, along with other related posts here:
David Goldman is one of the lucky ones because he got to see his son this week in Brazil. It turns out that the mother of the boy, Bruna, died recently during childbirth and her husband was trying to have the Brazilian courts remove Goldman’s name from the child’s birth certificate. Goldman was able to enlist the assistance of U.S. Representative Chris Smith of New Jersey to accompany him to Brazil and he was able to finally see his son, and hold him and tell him he loved him.
He still does not have custody of the boy, but according to NBC, it is expected that eventually Mr. Goldman will be reunited with his son. Certainly, if the Hague Convention is worth the paper it’s written on, he should get the child back. Although, there is a part of Hague Convention Jurisprudence that goes to the issue of the length of time the child has been living in the foreign jurisdiction. It’s about stability. Sometimes the courts don’t want to a remove a child who has been living safely in the jurisdiction where he or she was abducted and taken to, if more than a year has elapsed.  In Goldman’s case, little Sean has been living in Brazil for the past 4 years. So will he get his son back? I think so. But it is not absolute. We shall have to watch and see.
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