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  HOME | Brazil (Click here for more)

Brazil Court Tilts in Favor of U.S. Father in Custody Fight

RIO DE JANEIRO – A federal court authorized U.S. citizen David Goldman to live in Brazil with his son while it reaches a definitive verdict in the custody battle with the boy’s Brazilian stepfather in a case that has even concerned the governments of the two countries.

The favorable decision for the plaintiff, the boy’s father, ruled that pending a final verdict in the case, Sean Goldman, 9, will stay on weekdays with his father and weekends with his stepfather, with whom he has lived since 2004.

The stepfather’s attorneys said they will appeal the decision announced Thusday.

Brazil’s Supreme Court last week rejected a motion from the stepfather’s lawyers to overturn a lower court ruling giving custody of the boy to David Goldman.

The high court said the case must be allowed to take its course through the federal tribunals in Rio de Janeiro.

The case goes back to 2004 when Bruna Bianchi, married to David Goldman at the time and living in the United States, took Sean on a trip to her native Brazil for what she told her husband was a vacation.

Bianchi never returned, divorced Goldman in Brazil and some time afterwards married the attorney Joao Paulo Lins e Silva.

Last year, Bianchi died in childbirth and Sean has lived ever since with his stepfather, who with the support of his mother’s family went to court seeking guardianship of the minor, whom his father has tried to win back for the last four years.

The suit for Sean’s custody has even been discussed by Presidents Barack Obama and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva during the Brazilian leader’s official visit to Washington in March.

Obama argued on behalf of David Goldman, whom he promised to follow the case closely at the beginning of 2008, before he secured the Democratic presidential nomination.

In Washington, after the meeting with Obama, Lula said that his government would stand by the decision of the courts in his country out of respect for the separation of powers. EFE
 

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