Foreign divorce under the hague convention

I’ll try to be brief:
My daught and, now, ex son-in law left Boston Mass 3 years ago(they are both americans) when he took a job with NATO in belgium. 1 year later after arriving in Belgium, they decided to divorce. Shortly thereafter, my daughter said she wanted to return home to usa with her 3 children. The husband said he wanted to stay in Belgium with the 3 children. After much legal wrangling, it was held that Belgium had jurisiction(due to the Hague Convention) to decide custody as well as where the children would have to live, i.e. Belgium or USA.
A month ago(after 1and half years) the courts awarded legal custody and the right to return home to usa, etal. HERE is where it gets interesting…The court said, and I quote "Mrs Hinkel is allowed to leave the Belgian Territory with the children, knowing that her plan is to go back to the USA, country of origin of parties, and in the first period of time, in their home in Quincy.
Here is the issue: my daughter and children have not lived in Mass. for almost 3 years. They do have a home that is now empty(it was for sale, but was taken off the market due to divorce). My daughter does not want to return to MASS…She wants to live in North Carolina, where we, her grandparents have a second home.
The Belgium court has yet to award my daughter any child support, any alimony of any kind and will probably not do so until she has left Belgium. I have had to help support my daughter in Belgium, as she does not make enough money to even cover her basic living expenses.
At this point, it appears that the husband is going to stay at least until Dec. 2011, possibly longer(we will not know until July 4th 2011.

We have a situation where the Belgium court is telling my daughter that she can return to usa, BUT has to go to their old home in Quincy for the first period of time(they don’t specify, but we believe they could mean the 3 months after that either party can file for custody again.

It seem ridiculous that a foreign court could tell my daughter has to go to their house in Mass, first.

We want to come directly to North Carolina. We don’t think Mass will have jurisdiction, nor NC either. BUT, we feel that if she goes to MASS first, it could be interpreted as giving MASS jurisdiction first. Their is a real chance that when the husband comes home, he will try to force my daughter to stay in MASS and then she would never be able to leave.

I know the Hague Convention divorce rulings are legal, but it just seems incredible that a court would force someone to go and live in one of the most expensive areas in the country without providing the financial means to do so. (Also, the husband took all of the homeequity line of credit out of the home in order to prevent my daughter from obtaining any money in order to force her to settle)

This has been a nightmare case, extremely expensive in order to get my daughter and grandchildren back to usa. Their plan right from the beginning was to go to Belgium under his 3 year contract and return to usa.

She wants to come to North Carolina where we live. Neither she nor he has any family in MASS.


jim (jayspoe)

If the current order states that she must return to MASS I believe she is bound to do so, until she can obtain another order from the issuing court stating otherwise.