The Houston Family Law Blog


Houston Father Gets Custody of Son in Child Abduction Case

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Associated Press reports that a Houston father is now in an intense child custody battle with a Brazilian woman, who is the mother of his child. Kevin Birotte last saw his son at a court hearing when the child was just one and one half years old. His son will be 5 years of age this August.

The mother, Hilma Aparecida Caldeira, brought her son to Brazil in 2006 to visit her relatives. However, the woman decided to stay in the South American country and not return to the United States with her son. Kevin Birotte says that she filed for divorce and child custody that same year. It was because of these actions that there is now this child abduction case.

Based on the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction, Hilma Caldeira was ordered to relinquish her son to Kevin Birotte. She has until Thursday to hand over the child.

The Texas father said that he was further inspired to fight for the custody of his son after David Goldman's case. David Goldman, of New Jersey, was able to reunite with his 9-year-old son after a five year child custody battle with the U.S. and Brazilian courts. His case reached the highest levels of the Brazilian court system and involved high ranking Brazilian and U.S. officials that included President Barack Obama.

Both David Goldman and Kevin Birotte were able to file a petition for custody under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. According to FindLaw, this international treaty is supposed to protect children who are abducted, when a child is taken illegally from one country to another. Under the treaty, the country the child lived in prior to the illegal abduction -- has the right to determine custody.

This child abduction case may be rare, but it seems to be happening more and more. If you have questions about a potential child abduction case, it may be wise to speak with a Houston family law attorney.

Related Resources:

  • International Parental Abduction: Laws and Tips (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life Blog)
  • What Legal Remedies are Available if a Parent Abducts a Child? (FindLaw)
  • Find a Houston Family Law Attorney (FindLaw)

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