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US Supreme Court to hear international custody case

The US Supreme Court is to hear an international custody case involving a Scottish woman and her American ex-husband, reports the Scotsman.

Lynne Chafin was married to a member of the American armed forces, but had lived apart from him in Scotland with their daughter since 2007 because of his job. They had joined him Alabama in 2010 in an attempt to save their marriage, but this was unsuccessful.

Mr Chafin was awarded custody of their daughter when they separated, but Mrs Chafin appealed the decision when she returned to Scotland, and was awarded custody on the grounds that Scotland was the child's 'habitual residence' under the terms of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

Mr Chafin appealed the decision, but the Federal Circuit Court of Appeal dismissed it as his daughter was already living in Scotland.

Mr Chafin has now appealed to the US Supreme court, which will decide whether the Federal Court was right to dismiss the appeal. If the Supreme Court rules in his favour, Mr Chafin will have the right to appeal again against the award of custody to his ex-wife.

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