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Maryland woman's children taken overseas by ex after divorce

Going through a divorce is difficult, especially when children are involved. If you have a multinational family, it may be a hard time for you as you try to determine a fair visitation schedule or custody rights. In this case, an international abduction following a divorce has kept a mother from her children since 2011, according to the news. Now, as the prime minister of Tunisia visits the United States, Maryland lawmakers and the president are asking for his help to bring two children from Prince George County home.

According to the story on April 3, the Tunisian courts and the U.S. agree that the woman should get her children back. They were taken to North Africa when their father fled with them. The 32-year-old mother has claimed that she has custody of her 5-year-old daughter but not her 7-year-old son. This is despite her ex-husband being wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for international parental kidnapping. A warrant was issued by the U.S. District Court for his arrest when he took the children in 2011. The man is a dual citizen of Tunisia and the U.S.

The Tunisian government and the country itself is going through massive changes, but law enforcement may not be up to standards you're used to yet. That's the issue for this woman. Two senators from Maryland, Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski, have worked on this case for a number of years now. Finally, Sen. Cardin spoke with Tunisia's prime minister about the issue directly. He allegedly received no comment from the minister but believes that the case will be reviewed. Because it is a matter of law, this is something that will need to be addressed throughout the ongoing changes in Tunisia.

According to the news, there are at least six other abduction cases in Maryland alone. The difficulty with Tunisia is that it has not signed the treaty with the U.S. allowing for expedited reviews of cross-border abduction cases. In the meantime, the Senate may be looking at ways to prevent abductions in the future.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Md. officials seek resolution of international abduction case" John Fritze, Apr. 03, 2014

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