I am contacting you to see whether if you could provide legal counsel to a very close friend of mine, living in Moscow. Her name is Oksana, she is a Russian citizen, mother of a 9-year-old child born in Russian, whom she would like to have full custody of. The father, also of Russian nationality and to who she is divorced, is refusing her the custody and actually preventing her from exercising her parental rights. We lived in the United States together as family last year. She took son to Moscow by father request for visitation, but he took the son and refuses to return. Please advise.
Unfortunately, you contacted me too late. It was bad idea to let Oksana travel with son to Russia. She has no chances to take son to USA again. Oksana has two ways:
1) she can open civil action against father and get custody over child. The father will get visitations rights, and both parents will have to live in Moscow. If she gets her son in her possession, she might be travel with him, if father will not against it. Otherwise, he can file travel ban which can be removed by the court;
2) she can travel to USA alone, and visit son in Moscow and by Skype every week. If the father will be against visitations, she can resolve the issue through the court.
I understand, Oksana has hard choice. I will support your family in any her decision.