David Goldman has once again received a phone call that could change his life. A Brazilian judge upheld a ruling that Sean Goldman, the 9 year-old son of Goldman and the child at the heart of an enduring custody battle, must be returned to Goldman and return to the United States.
The Brazilian Supreme Court's top justice made the ruling after the boy's stepfather filed an appeal of a ruling that came last week which also ordered the boy returned to his father. Despite the fact that Goldman has been promised his son by court rulings before, this latest ruling could be the last word in the matter.
The custody battle began in 2004, when Goldman's ex-wife, Bruna Bianchi, took their son Sean to brazil on the pretense of visiting family. She never returned; instead she divorced Goldman and remarried businessman Joao Paulo Lins e Silva. She died during childbirth in 2008 and tough it may seem natural for Sean to return to his biological father, his stepfather and maternal grandparents retained custody. They have been fighting Goldman every step of the way, stating that Sean wants to stay in Brazil.
A major factor in this case is the Hague Convention, which is a treaty signed by numerous countries. The treaty states that a child taken from one member nation to another must be returned as quickly as possible to their country of residence. It applies only to children under 16. Brazil is a member of this treaty, as is the United States. By all accounts, Brazilian law should uphold this treaty and was mentioned during a previous ruling by a superior court justice that stated Sean should be returned to Goldman. That ruling was quickly overturned.