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When Jeffrey and Lynne Chafin got divorced, they probably never imagined their feud would reach the highest court of the United States.But the Supreme Court heard arguments today in their case, which turns on the international child abduction provisions of the Hague Convention.
Jeffrey, an Army sergeant and a U.S. citizen, and his Scottish ex-wife Lynne are fighting over whether their German-born daughter gets to stay in Scotland or the U.S.
After Jeffrey filed for divorce, Lynne successfully won a district court ruling to have the 5-year-old girl returned to Scotland with her, according to a SCOTUSBlog summary of the case.
Lynne argued the girl was a citizen of the UK who had been wrongfully detained in the U.S. under the Hague Convention.
Jeffrey appealed to the 11th Circuit in Atlanta, which ruled his case was moot under the Hague Convention since his daughter was already in Scotland.
To make things worse for Jeffrey, the appeals court ordered him to pay his ex $100,000 in fees and travel expenses, according to SCOTUSBlog.
Chafin’s lawyer says his client’s custody fight could have huge implications for military personnel who have children with non-U.S. citizens, Reuters reported.