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U.S. Prosecutors Charge Father in International Child Custody Dispute

July 20, 2012 | Posted In Family Law - Custody

New Jersey Family Lawyers Discuss Possible Outcome

American prosecutors have filed charges against a Palestinian man who is being accused of forcibly taking his three children from their home in Kansas to his home in the Gaza Strip.

Bethany Gonzales, the mother of the children and an American citizen, divorced the man, Ahmed Abuhamda, in 2008.  Under the terms of the divorce, the children lived with their father in Kansas, where their mother was granted visitation rights. 

All went well until Abuhamda began plotting to take the children back to Gaza, Gonzales alleges.  He used his sister's wedding in Gaza as an excuse to get his wife to sign the childrens’ passport application papers. 

The children, a 13-year-old boy, a 10-year-old boy and a nine-year-old girl, were picked up from school on February 21, and were supposed to head back to the U.S. after the wedding.  Abuhamda told Gonzales that there was a confirmed reservation for a flight back to Kansas. However, the children never returned after the wedding.  The children remained in Gaza.

Under the terms of the divorce agreement, Abuhamda was permitted to take the children overseas as long as he had permission from their mother. Abuhamda insists that his former wife granted him such permission, but Gonzales denies this allegation.

U.S. authorities have now charged Abuhamda with aggravated interference with parental custody.  The only option now available for Gonzales is to appeal to Hamas leaders to put pressure on Abuhamda and the authorities in Gaza. The Gaza Strip is a highly impoverished colony that is currently under the rule of the militant group Hamas.  New Jersey family lawyers do not know if Gonzalez’s appeals will be effective.

The New Jersey family lawyers at Helmer Paul Conley and Kasselman represent persons in divorce, child support, child custody, and other family law-related matters across New Jersey.


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