It seems like it must be a frustrating back and forth child custody dispute between a Texas mother and Mexican/French father for all involved. Which parent is in the right is up for a judge to decide, but for the sake of the 11-year-old child involved in the disagreement, the majority of the international public who has been following this family law controversy hopes that a final decision will soon be made.
The custody dispute caught the public's eye about one year ago when video footage of the child over whom the parents are fighting came out showing the boy pleading to get away from his father. Sources claim that his father had managed to get custody of the child after telling a Texas judge that the mother was a flight risk and that she would likely disappear with the boy before a judge could make his custody decision.
At that time, the court sided with the father, only to find out that the he did not plan to hear what the court's child custody decision was. Instead, he left the country for France with the boy and missed the scheduled custody hearing. He, therefore, was charged with kidnapping, and he was also accused of perjury based on the argument that he lied about the mother being an actual flight risk.
Those legal charges are based in Texas, and that, along with the fact that the French court agreed that the father did not legally have custody of the boy, led to him being required to return to the states last month. In an interesting twist, this week he again asked the court to treat the child's mother as a flight risk and limit her from leaving Texas with the child until a final child custody agreement is determined. A judge was quick to reject that request.
According to sources, the father in this complex custody case claims that the Mexican government has granted him legal custody of the boy, but no one judge has ever heard both sides of the family law case in order to make the most informed and fair decision as possible. We will post an update when more details develop.
San Antonio Express-News: Judge rejects request to restrict Jean Paul to Texas (9/15/2010)