In most situations, cases involving family law matters are handled within the family’s jurisdiction and do not require input from the federal court system. However, there have been a few cases where the U.S. Supreme Court has intervened in child custody and divorce cases. In spite of the rarity, when the top court has been involved, the decisions have sometimes brought changes, even here in New York.

While one of the most memorable decisions changed the way that states viewed interracial marriages, there have not been many cases where the decision had such a far-reaching impact. One recent case was a custody battle over the now famous Baby Veronica adoption litigation. After the child’s adoptive parents lost in the first round, they were eventually awarded custody on appeal.

A current case involves an international fight for custody. A child with dual citizenship was caught in the middle when her Scottish mother and American father experienced marital discord once they settled in the states when the father’s military deployment was completed. The mother was granted permission to return to her native country with the child, where she filed for permanent custody. The U.S. Supreme Court has not yet rendered a decision in this matter.

This last case may serve to draw attention to the complexities involved in child custody cases, especially when international laws and treaties between nations have to be navigated. New York families may be relieved when they realize that while these cases are difficult, being able to handle the issue locally may make the situation slightly less stressful. There are resources located within the state that can provide the necessary assistance to enable these emotional cases to be resolved in the best interests of the child as fairly and quickly as possible.

Source: economicvoice.com, “Rare Family Legal Cases – When the Supreme Court Gets Involved“, , Aug. 29, 2014