Father’s Rights and International Travel
Caryn Tamber tells the story in the Maryland Daily Record of Marius Aydanian and Antonina Aydanian, both of Bulgaria, who met when they were seeking political asylum in the United States. They were granted asylum, married and moved to Indianapolis.
In 1998, Antonina enrolled in the Ph.D. program at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland. Marius stayed in Indianapolis. Antonina gave birth to their son. In 2005, she obtained a Bulgarian divorce.
Marius was able to assert his father’s rights and obtain a visitation order in the U.S. for two days a month and the summers. However, Antonina sent the boy to Bulgaria for two summers in a row.
Marius filed suit in Montgomery County, Maryland, for intentional interference with visitation. On July 1, 2009, after two and a half days of trial, the jury returned a verdict for Marius in the amount of $23,000.
In a 2008 case, Khalifa et al. v. Shannon, the Maryland Court of Appeals upheld a $3 million verdict in favor of a father for interference with visitation when his ex-wife and mother-in-law took their two children to Egypt.