Overland Park father gets Supreme Court victory in custody fight - KCTV5 News


Overland Park father gets Supreme Court victory in international custody battle

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The U.S. Supreme Court has sided with an Overland Park soldier who is fighting to bring his daughter back to the United States.

The case began when Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Chafin met his wife while stationed in Germany. They eventually moved to Alabama. Chafin was deployed to Afghanistan.

Chafin says his wife had overstayed her visa and was charged with alcohol and domestic violence charges. She was deported to Scotland after Chafin filed for divorce.

An Alabama judge sided with Chafin's wife and in October 2011, his wife took their 5-year-old daughter, Eris, to Scotland.

"We try to make sure she stays a little girl as much as we can and out of the middle of all of this. She is very, very bright," Chafin's mother, Sharon Feden, said.

Chafin has been fighting to bring his daughter back to the United States and managed to get the Supreme Court to hear his case.

"To hear that it was unanimous that they feel like he deserves an appeal. He just keeps saying, 'wow someone believes in me,'" Feden said.

Feden says she is thankful for her son's Supreme Court victory.

"Ecstatic over the moon. (Jeff) is running in circles. Something positive for him," Feden said.

Chafin's family, who held fundraisers to pay for his six-figure legal fees, are now preparing for the next step in the case.

Once Chafin and his family realized the court unanimously sided with him, they realized their case could help other military members.

"They can rest easy knowing that the government is not going to give up on them. Just because they are taken outside U.S. boundaries doesn't mean that it is over with," Chafin said. "It was great that our Supreme Court heard our case. That means I have a shot at get my baby back home to a safe environment."

The custody case will go back to the appellate court in Georgia. The court will decide who will have custody of the couple's daughter and which country she will live in.

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