In most parental kidnapping cases, the issue of child support eventually comes up. In the Sean Goldman case, I’ve read statements from the Ribeiro and Lins e Silva family members that they expected the father and left behind parent to take finanical responsiblity for the kidnapped child. These self-serving statements are the most appalling and insensitive comments any relative could make about a father and searching parent.
First of all, in an International Parental Kidnapping Case, a father or left-behind parent who has had only a few days custody time with his son for the last 5 years and only if he flies from New Jersey to Brazil. In a letter posted on the http://www.bringseanhome.org site, Paulo Lins E Siva, the influential family law attorney and former President of International Matrimonial Attorneys Association and father to Sean Goldman’s Step Father Joa Palo Lins E Silva writes: “since the separation, David has never contributed ‘on cent’ for the maintenance of Sean…” Mr. Lins E Silva knows very well that David Goldman has had to spend thousands to litigate the case in Brazil as well as travel expenses to Brazil (11 times). He also sends a copy of a check that the biological mother’s family paid to the father David Goldman for their part in aiding and abetting in the parental kidnapping which Mr. Lins E Silva also knows is a tactic used by searching parents to force the kidnapping parent or family to agree to a custody schedule. If a custody schedule had existed, then this case would not be in the news.
The bottom line is that Mr. Lins E Silva with his background in family law should be encouarging a de-escalation of the case, a rightful transfer of custody to the biological father David Goldman so the families could agree on a plan moving forward. It would be nice if the families could trust each other so that the child could eventually have unfettered access to both families. Unfortuantely, with Mr. Lins e Silva’s leadership in this case and with Rep Chris Smith now calling for trade sanctions against Brazil, that appears less and less likely.
Finally, when it comes to child support for the time the child was kidnapped. Most family law judges would certainly agree that child support is not owed for the period the child was kidnapped. That said, the parental kidnapper should be responsible for paying the legal fees of the searching parent. If the kidnapping were to have not occurred, then David Smith would not have had to hire an attorney in Brazil and have flown to Brazil 11 times.
Mr. Lins e Silva and the Ribiero family, it’s time for you to end this case now and rightfully return custody of Sean Goldman to his father.