Judge Gives Dad Custody, But Only In Brazil

New Jersey man wins hollow victory; hopes to be with son for next Father's Day

By Cory Lopez
|  Friday, Jun 19, 2009  |  Updated 9:00 AM PDT
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Famous Dads

bringseanhome.org

Sean Goldman, shown here with his father David, told a Brazilian psychologist he doesn't want to come back to New Jersey.

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A Brazilian judge gave a heartbroken New Jersey father custody of his son six days a week, but the caveat is a big one: He can only see the boy in the South American country he's lived in ever since his late mom abducted him.

David Goldman has been fighting for his boy, now 9, ever since the kid's mother took him out of the country in 2004 and married a Brazilian lawyer. Last year, the mother died during childbirth, leaving Sean living with his stepfather and David Goldman fighting an international custody battle.

The new arrangement, ordered this week, will remain in effect until a ruling on Sean's permanent custody is given, according to The Associated Press. The Brazilian family wants to retain custody and plans to appeal. Goldman is worried that could scuttle the arrangement, and given the uncertainty, he isn't rushing down to Brazil.

 "We don't put him on an airplane until we're actually sure it's going to happen," Goldman's lawyer Patricia Apy told The AP.

The battle got a little messier this week when a transcript of a Brazilian psychologist interviewing young Sean was released quoting the boy saying he wants to stay in Brazil. If he is sent back to live with his father Tinton Falls, N.J., the boy told the psychologist, he will "break down totally."

Apy told the Associated Press the decision was not Sean's to make, saying that at just 9 years old, he is not mature enough to choose where he should live. Apy also said she was concerned the interview could cause lasting psychological damage.

Meanwhile,Goldman remains hopeful that this Father's Day will be his last without his son.

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