Gay male Manhattan couple adopt Baby together, using a surrogate mother.
Couple splits up before very long.
Court awards rotating joint physical custody.
Dad is awarded the weekends. Pop is awarded the weekdays.
Not satisfied, Dad allegedly procures a fake driver’s license – using Pop’s information.
Dad uses it to apply for a passport for Baby.
One visit, Dad asks Pop for a couple of extra days with Baby. Pop agrees.
Comes time for the return, Dad doesn’t show up at the agreed time. Or later.
Dad sends Pop an e-mail informing him that he has taken Baby to Israel – and will not be returning to the US.
New York cops call Dad on his cell phone. Dad freely admits his actions.
What gives? Simple.
Dad has studied the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. In Dad’s legal opinion, under the Hague Convention, Dad may remain with Baby in Israel.
Dad further concludes that Israel will not extradite him for mere custodial interference.
Dad, in effect, acted as his own lawyer – and, at his own peril, misinterpreted the law.
Based on Dad’s conduct, the New York court revokes Dad’s visitation.
And, contrary to Dad’s legal opinion, the Israeli family court rules that it has no jurisdiction, under the Hague Convention or otherwise. It holds that New York has jurisdiction over Baby.
Meanwhile, Dad is charged with custodial interference in New York. Other charges may follow.
Unfortunately for Dad, conviction for custodial interference carries a sentence of up to four years’ imprisonment.
Dad really should have consulted with an attorney.