A Father’s Battle for the Return of His Children from Brazil

by | Jul 4, 2023

Tatiana, John’s ex-wife, was recognized for her volatile temperament, which significantly impacted their tumultuous marriage filled with frequent arguments and clashes. Her discontent with residing in the United States was evident as she frequently voiced dissatisfaction with the limited job opportunities and the absence of a close-knit network of family and friends. Additionally, Tatiana openly expressed her unequivocal desire to return to her native country of Brazil.

Despite these challenges, they shared the joy of raising their two children—a 3-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl.

Unfortunately, their troubled marriage led to a bitter divorce. Fueled by resentment, Tatiana pursued legal action and shockingly emerged victorious in Court. She was granted a significant amount in child support, alimony, and more than half of John’s assets. Making matters worse, she accused him of physical and psychological abuse, securing a restraining order against him, despite these claims being false.

To John’s despair, one day he arrived at the school to pick up his children, only to find that Tatiana had fled with them to Brazil. Overwhelmed by a sense of anguish, John found himself in a harrowing situation, unsure of where to turn next.

I empathize deeply with those who find themselves in a situation similar to John’s. Having witnessed numerous fathers like him being thrust into this unjust nightmare, I feel compelled to write this article with a profound understanding of their struggle.

My utmost commitment is to offer unwavering support to anyone facing unfair separation from their children. They deserve nothing less than a decent opportunity to reunite with their children and build a promising future together—a future that, unfortunately, some of those mothers are completely unable to comprehend.

Your first step is contacting your country’s Central Authority, which is specifically tasked with handling international child abduction cases. These authorities are typically connected to the Justice Department, State Department, or similar government agencies, and you will easily find them online.

They are known for their proactive approach, and a simple email or phone call is all it takes to initiate the process of requesting international assistance under the Hague Convention for Combat against International Child Abduction.

Ensure that you provide accurate and thorough information, including the personal information of the children, birth certificates, and passport details, as well as the abductor’s information, possible location, family addresses in Brazil, and pictures of each child individually, with the children together with you and from their mother. This will help ensure that your case is handled appropriately.

Reach out to the school and kindly request your child’s grades and establish a strong line of communication with them.

If possible, consider asking for a letter that provides information on your child’s attendance history, duration of enrollment at the school, behavior, social interactions with other children, and other relevant details.

It is advisable to file a police report in your region informing of the abduction and also asking for full custody of the children (in your home country) due to the abduction.

To effectively address your circumstances, it is very important also to engage the services of a qualified lawyer in Brazil.

By retaining a private lawyer, you significantly increase your chances of successfully recovering your child. A proficient attorney will provide invaluable assistance in navigating the legal system, safeguarding your rights, and ensuring that your case is handled appropriately to obtain an urgent Court order for the return of your child.

I usually recommend continuing to fulfill your child support obligations as determined by the Court until a further moment, when the strategy of how to handle the situation is clearer.

If your ex is still maintaining contact, it is advisable to (try to) handle the situation with maturity and respect. Avoid engaging in conflicts or excessive questioning, and instead, allow her to feel “safe” in their position.

Maintain composure, avoid aggression, raising your voice, and losing control.

If you have access to their social media, observe the posts, pics, publications, and other means to keep track of your ex-partner’s whereabouts, always with great care and without interference. Remember that extraordinary situations may call for exceptional measures.

If you happen to have contact with her relatives, avoid using them to openly manipulate or pressure her into returning. It is crucial to keep communication channels open with those individuals and continue fostering a healthy level of communication at this time.

If she is still allowing video calls with your children, approach these interactions with wisdom, and avoid manipulating the situation or expressing concerns to your children. Instead, maintain a friendly and amicable behave, giving the impression that you are okay with the overall situation. Maintain a demeanor of unawareness or naivety.

This strategy is important as it allows you to gather information subtly, such as observing their physical surroundings and any potential relocations.

Be aware that your ex-partner will be listening and monitoring the calls, so it is crucial to feign indifference.

If your children are small, consider playing movies during the call as a means of interaction. If they are older, playing online video games together can be a valuable way keep yourself close. Additionally, sending gifts, even through a third person in Brazil, can help foster a sense of connection. However, it’s important to note that gifting cell phones or iPads can be particularly beneficial in these circumstances.

I strongly discourage engaging in public online campaigns that accuse abduction, participating in protests and sending letters to authorities, expose the case to reporters, etc. These actions often create false expectations and can divert your attention from the effective legal procedures that should be followed.

This a good time to surround yourself with a strong support network, including family, friends, and professionals who can offer emotional support and guidance.


Contact Mauricio Elchejo

Read more about child relocation and child abduction in Brazil.

Read more about child abduction.



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