Colorado: Mexican “Patria Potestas” Provides Custody per Hague Convention

U.S. District Court of Colorado:
Mexican  Concept of “Patria Potestas” Provides Custody per Hague Convention

Colorado, April 10, 2008: In re The matter of Liebrman v. Tabachnik (2008) 625 F. Supp.2d 1109,  the U.S. District Court, analyzed the concept of “Patria Potestas” or “Parental Authority” under the Mexican law, its relation to the custody order, and its effect on the custodial right of the parents for the purpose of  Hague Convention.
In that case,  Jessica Tabachnik, mother removed two(2) children of the family from Mexico to Colorado, and father, Andres Lieberman sought their return under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Convention), and International Child Abduction Remerdies Act (ICARA).
Mother claimed that she has physical custody of the children under a Mexican Court order, with father having visitation right (right to access) only. Father argued that both parents and their children were bound by the “Parental Authority” which provides him with custody right, unless it is waived or relinquished.
The Court found that Patria potestas “is understood to mean the relationship of rights and obligations that are held reciprocally, on the one hand, by the father and mother or in some cases the grandparents and, on the other hand, the minor children who are not emancipated.”  The Court concluded that in the Mexican custody order, father did not waive or relinquish his patria potestas rights, and accordingly, both parents have joint custody of the children  consistent with the Hague Convention’s statement, and ordered their return to Mexico.

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