The battle waged by a Texas father regarding the custody of his two daughters began five years ago. He divorced in 2008 and was given custody of them. When he dropped his daughters off to his ex-wife for a weekend visit, the child custody battle began. The man’s ex-wife left the United States that weekend and took the girls to Russia, where they have dual citizenship.
The father called every single day for a year and a half, unable to speak with his daughters despite his consistent efforts. In the five years since he last saw his daughters he has spoken to them for less than two minutes. Although awarded custody by a Texas court, there has been little he could do since his daughters were taken to Russia.
Recently, the father found out his ex-wife died of cancer, and custody has reverted to him in Russia. While the maternal grandmother has stated she will not allow the girls to come back to the United States, the father plans to travel to Russia in July in the hopes that they will return with him to Texas. After so many years apart he is hopeful his daughters will remember the close bond they shared and choose to return with him.
During this unique child custody battle the U.S. Embassy could do little due to the girls having a dual citizenship. A warrant awaited his ex-wife should she return to Texas. However she remained in her home country of Russia, never returning to the United States. While most custody battles are not waged in two countries the results can still be the same. Children can go for years without seeing one of their biological parents, despite that parent’s willingness to remain in their lives.
Source: wfaa.com, “Hope arises for dad in custody battle for daughters taken to Russia,” Jim Douglas, June 20, 2013