GOLDMAN CASE AFFECTS BRAZIL-U.S. TIES
Today’s Washington Post reports that the prolonged custody battle being pursued by David Goldman of Tinton Falls has become “a delicate diplomatic problem.”
In fact, the Post reports, in its lead paragraph:
When Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva meets with President Obama on Saturday in Washington for the first time, the most closely watched issue between their two countries might not be energy, the environment or hemispheric security but the custody of an 8-year-old boy.
Sean Goldman was taken by Goldman’s wife, Bruna, to her native Brazil four years ago, purportedly on vacation. But before she died last August, she divorced Goldman and married João Paulo Lins e Silva, said to be from a family of prominent lawyers and judges.
The two countries appear to agree that the custody question should be resolved by the Brazilian judicial system, the Post reports. But David Goldman and his supporters have maintained that they haven’t been able to get a break in court, alluding to the influence of the Lins e Silva family, which is said to have 70 attorneys working on the case.
There’s also this, the Post reports:
Lins e Silva’s father, Paulo, described Goldman in an e-mail as an absent father who has not attempted to support or visit his son in Brazil.
“Sean is a naturalized Brazilian citizen. He has lived here for almost five years and has been raised with much love, affection and care by a serious family, receiving the best education possible,” he wrote, adding, “It’s not fair, nor humane, this slaughter that we are suffering involving the calculated capriciousness of an absent father.”
Goldman said he has traveled to Brazil nine times over the years to try to get his son back. On Wednesday, he was in Rio waiting to undergo a court-ordered psychological evaluation and hoping to visit Sean, he said. His first court-ordered visit occurred last month.
Goldman also filed for custody of Sean under the Hague Abduction Convention, an international treaty that seeks to determine whether children have been wrongfully removed from their country of habitual residence. He made the filing within 50 days of the boy being taken to Brazil.
“I’m just a guy trying to bring my son home,” he tells the Post. “That’s all I’ve been trying to do since he was taken away 4 1/2 years ago.”