Winning as a team for Fatima
Last December, Fatima flew to Bosnia with her husband Julian and their two young children to see Julian’s family, for what she thought was just a routine visit. But as their scheduled return date neared, Fatima realized that Julian didn’t intend for her or the kids to return to Chicago. Instead, he planned to keep her and the children there against her will, thousands of miles from home, in a remote area of a country where she didn’t speak the language.
Fatima contacted the U.S. Embassy, who sent the police to Julian’s parents’ home. About a week later, with the help of a friend, Fatima eventually managed to flee Bosnia with her children. Two months after she returned home, Julian filed what’s known as a Hague petition, claiming that the children’s “habitual residence” was really in Bosnia, and that any court proceedings to decide custody should take place there, not in the U.S. If Fatima lost the Hague Petition hearing, it was almost certain that Julian would take the children back to Bosnia and make Fatima fight for custody there.
That is when Fatima came to LAF for help. LAF Supervisory attorney, JoAnn Villasenor and staff attorney, Teresa Sullivan and JoAnn Villasenor, took the lead on Fatima’s case, but the complexity and the urgency of the case made it a priority for the Children and Families Practice Group.
Read the rest of Fatima's story here