Child Abduction Case



Burns helped a father in Portugal, who had previously shared custody of his daughter with the child’s mother in Europe, gain her safe return after the mother took the child to the U.S. under the auspices of a summer vacation and never returned. The girl’s retention in the U.S. by her mother was in direct violation of the family court’s ruling in Portugal. After taking the case on referral from the U.S. State Department, Burns immediately filed the necessary complaint under the Hague Convention in the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts. A hard-fought, year-long battle ensued, ending with a trial. The Court issued a judgment that provided for the child to be returned to the father in Portugal. Following the Court’s decision, Burns assisted the father with securing a new passport for the minor child and met all parties at the airport, with a translator, to assist with and ensure a smooth exchange. The child ran into her father’s arms when she arrived at a nearby hotel to meet him, and is now thriving back in his care in Portugal, surrounded by extended family.

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