Arizona residents may have heard of the recent international child custody dispute in our state. The children involved, a pair of twin girls, had been living in Arizona with their father after their parents split. Their mother lived just 10 miles away on the other side of the U.S.-Mexico border. The couple had been shuttling the children back and forth to the border in older to solve the issue of child custody and visitation. However, when the split went south, the father refused to return the children.
According to reports, the parents had decided that life in Arizona was preferable for the children in terms of education and medical care. The court found that the time that the children spent in Arizona created a 'habitual residence' in the U.S. They would spend Thursday to Sunday in the States and Monday to Wednesday in Mexico. Because the court found that the majority of the children's time was spent in the U.S., international child abduction laws did not apply to the mother's case.