Firefighter Fights To Get Kids Back From Wife Who Fled Country

July 14, 2016


A Baltimore County firefighter has been fighting for more than five years to get his two young children back after his estranged wife took them out of the country. Two of Maryland’s most prominent lawmakers have now stepped in to help.


Baltimore County firefighter Stan Hunkovic hasn’t seen his kids in years. He says legally it doesn’t add up. Now he’s hoping something will be done.

“It’s surreal. It’s just… There’s just no words to describe it,” he said. “It’s just mind-boggling.”

Every day packs an emotional punch, a blow that never gets any easier.

“It’s like your child dies over and over and over again. There’s no closure to it,” said Hunkovic.


Stan Hunkovic rallies outside Trinidad Embassy for his kids

Since 2010, Hunkovic has been in an international custody battle with his estranged wife.

A Maryland court granted the firefighter sole custody of his children, but that’s when he says she fled the country with eight-year-old Gabriel and six-year-old Anastatia and took them to Trinidad and Tobago.

“Why isn’t anybody getting this and how terrible this is?” Hunkovic said.

His ex-wife was indicted on six counts of parental child abduction by a grand jury in Baltimore County. The Department of Justice approved a request for her to be extradited, but still, there’s been no response.

Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger and Senator Ben Cardin both sent letters to Trinidad and Tobago’s embassy, with Ruppersberger saying: “It is my understanding that the extradition request was officially delivered.”

Cardin, who WJZ caught up with Wednesday night, added: “We are working with Trinidad authorities to do everything we can to get the children returned.”

Ritter: “If your kids are watching this right now or they get a chance to see this, what do you want to say to them?”

Hunkovic: “Daddy loves you so very much, and I miss you and I think and pray about you every day.”

Hunkovic urges anyone who wants to help him to write to their local congressmen and women and senators.

Visit our web site at:

Follow our updates on Twitter and Facebook

profile pic.jpgdroppedImage_7TM

download (2)

ABP World Group™ Risk Management

Contact us here: Mail ( )

Skype: abpworld

NOTE: We are always available 24/7

Madonna labels ex-husband Guy Ritchie a ‘c**t’ on stage over bitter Rocco custody battle

January 21, 2016


MADONNA has taken her bitter custody battle with ex-husband Guy Ritchie to a shocking new level — appearing to brand him a “c**t” on stage.

The pop legend, 57, who is gearing up for a showdown with her ex in court over son Rocco, stunned the audience at her Nashville show with the foul-mouthed rant.


She responded to a fan’s marriage proposal by saying: “I’m looking for a husband, not a c**t. I already married a c**t.”

The shocking outburst came at her Nashville gig on Monday — where she arrived on stage more than two hours late — after her and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels director Guy, 47, fought in court over 15-year-old Rocco.

The teenager had been travelling with Madonna on her international Rebel Heart Tour, but left in December to go live with his father in London.

Madonna Guy-Ritchie

Madonna appeared in court in New York before Christmas after Rocco refused to come home for the holidays, and the judge ordered him to return to his mother so she and Guy could work out custody.

However, Rocco has so far refused to return to the US and remains in the UK.

The couple, who were married for eight years before divorcing in 2008, will now battle in court again over their son. Her sweary rant came just days after she fiercely denied reports that she was drunk during her Louisville concert.


The singer eventually came on at 10.31pm — two and a half hour later than her 8pm start time.

She wrote online: “’For those people who like to believe all they read I never drink and perform!!! My show is 2 hours and 15 minutes of non stop singing and dancing.”

Follow our updates on Twitter and Facebook

Testimonials from our clients

profile pic.jpgdroppedImage_7TM

download (2)

ABP World Group™ Risk Management

Contact us here: Mail 

Skype: abpworld

NOTE: We are always available 24/7

Madonnas drunken antics botch concert as custody battle looms

January 17, 2016


Madonna’s brewing custody battle with Guy Ritchie is stressing the 57-year-old pop diva out, and it’s starting to show. According to TMZ, Madonna had a minor meltdown during her January 16 show in Louisville, Kentucky.


The Material Girl drew ire from longtime fans when her concert started late, three hours late. Even worse, fans told TMZ that when Madonna finally took the stage, she was obviously drunk. However, fans don’t agree on how drunk. One angry fan described Madonna as “very drunk” while another claims that Madonna was only “a lil drunk but funny.”

It gets worse. According to some fans, Madonna tried to cover her drunken performance by turning on the audience. Madonna apparently adopted a “hillbilly accent” to trash talk her Kentucky fans.

Madonna appeared to admit to showing up tipsy for her performance in a post to her official Twitter account.

There might be more to Madonna’s alcohol-fueled slip up than meets the eye. According to People, Madonna and her ex-husband, Guy Ritchie, have been locked in a custody battle over their 15-year-old son, Rocco. It seems that after three months of traveling with Madonna on her Rebel Heart tour, Rocco decided he’d had enough and flew to the United Kingdom to live with Guy Ritchie.

The problem is, Rocco refused to return to the United States to spend Christmas with his mother and younger siblings. Undaunted, Madonna appeared in a New York courtroom on December 23, demanding that Rocco be returned to her custody. Reportedly, the judge ordered Rocco to return to the United States, but so far, he hasn’t. According to sources close to Guy Ritchie, Rocco misses his friends in London and hates the expensive Manhattan private school Madonna enrolled him in.

Guy-Ritchie and Madonna

Reportedly, Guy Ritchie wants Rocco to stay with him. Sources told People, that Ritchie dislikes Madonna’s reportedly authoritarian parenting style, and thinks it will stifle Rocco’s confidence. Madonna and Guy Ritchie as scheduled to appear in a New York courtroom on February 3 to settle the custody arrangement. Right now, it’s unclear if Guy Ritchie refuses to return Rocco to Madonna’s custody, or if the 15-year-old refuses to leave London.

This isn’t the first time that Guy Ritchie and Madonna have revealed conflicting views on their lives together. According to the Daily Mail, Madonna revealed that, from her perspective, a lack of romance was at the heart of her 2008 split from Ritchie. Apparently, Madonna thought her relationship with Guy Ritchie was flawless in the beginning, but over the years noticed cracks in the veneer that made her wonder how much she was willing to sacrifice.

Guy Ritchie doesn’t see it that way. According to the Mirror, Ritchie just wanted a normal relationship, but Madonna’s inner circle and celebrity lifestyle made that impossible.

“She’s obsessed with her own public image, obsessed with being seen as some kind of global soothsayer. It’s silly, she’s a pop star. And some of the advisers around her, some of whom have gone, made it impossible for us to have a semblance of a normal life. They worshipped at the altar of Madonna. I just wanted a regular husband and wife thing – not least for the sake of the kids.”

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the demise of Madonna and Guy Ritchie’s marriage and the custody battle over Rocco have both played out through the stars respective public relations teams. Ritchie continues to pain Madonna as self-absorbed and unnecessarily strict with her children. Meanwhile, Madonna’s public relations team paints Ritchie as a negligent parent determined to use their son to settle a score with his ex-wife.

Follow our updates on Twitter and Facebook

Testimonials from our clients

profile pic.jpgdroppedImage_7TM

download (2)

ABP World Group™ Risk Management

Contact us here: Mail 

Skype: abpworld

NOTE: We are always available 24/7

Temporary deal announced in international battle over Mexican boy

January 13, 2016


A 5-year-old boy stood outside a Knoxville federal courtroom Tuesday unaware of his place at the center of an international custody battle.


Chief U.S. District Judge Tom Varlan intends to keep it that way — as do the two parents who are warring over what country the youngster should call home.

In a case that has involved the Mexican government, the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Marshals Service and The Hague Convention, Varlan found himself Tuesday playing a role far removed his usual duties — a family court judge.

“This is not the typical proceeding in this court,” he remarked.

In that new role, Varlan reminded the feuding parents — Mexican citizens Eugenio Garduno Guevara and Alma Soto Soto — of an agreement brokered by their respective attorneys to shield the boy from talk about the legal fight.


“There are to be no discussions with the child involved in these proceedings, do you understand?” the judge asked both parents via interpreters.

The case hit U.S. District Court in Knoxville in December when Memphis attorney Suzanne Landers and her firm filed on behalf of Guevara federal action to keep Soto, who has been living with the boy in Knoxville, from fleeing with him. Citing the provisions of The Hague Convention of 1980 on international child abduction cited by Guevara’s lawyers, Varlan issued a temporary restraining order and ordered Soto to bring the boy with her to Tuesday’s hearing. He ordered the U.S. Marshals Service, an agency tasked with hunting criminal fugitives, to serve Soto with his order.

Guevara and Soto had the boy out of wedlock in Mexico in 2010 but lived together with him until March 2013 when Guevara moved out. A month later, the boy and his mother disappeared.

Guevara launched a hunt for his son, engaging Mexican police and the Mexican government, scouring Facebook and ultimately engaging the State Department and the U.S. judicial system.

Two years later, Guevara finally found mother and son via a photograph posted on Facebook, showing Soto and the boy at the Wichita Falls Park in Wichita Falls, Texas. But, he alleges, she disappeared with the boy again. The pair resurfaced in late May in Knoxville when she sought custody through Knox County Juvenile Court.

At Tuesday’s hearing, Landers and Soto’s attorney, Scott Saidak, announced a temporary deal in which Guevara would be allowed to visit with his son later that evening at West Town Mall and again on Wednesday at a location to be determined. Soto, who will keep custody of the boy for now, agreed to stay put in Knoxville pending a March 7 hearing on where the boy should reside — the U.S. with his mother or Mexico with his father.

“My client has been here two years and has no intention of moving anytime soon,” Saidak said.

While it’s not been made clear whether Soto is in the U.S. legally, she has a passport, which Saidak said she agreed to turn over to him while the case is pending. Guevara said he will be returning to Mexico to await the upcoming hearing.

Follow our updates on Twitter and Facebook

Testimonials from our clients

profile pic.jpgdroppedImage_7TM

download (2)

ABP World Group™ Risk Management

Contact us here: Mail 

Skype: abpworld

NOTE: We are always available 24/7

English courts will continue to send home children brought here wrongfully

The UK takes seriously its obligations under the Hague convention dealing with parents who abduct their children

Eight years old girl with hand in back pocket of her father who has arm protectively about her

The Hague convention was drawn up with parents who flee overseas with their children in mind. Photograph: Ken Welsh/Alamy

More than 30 years ago the Hague convention on the civil aspects of international child abduction was drawn up with its authors “desiring to protect children internationally from the harmful effects of their wrongful removal” from their home country. The convention requires signatory countries to return children who have been unilaterally removed abroad so that the courts in their home countries can decide on the future arrangements for them.

The typical case the framers of the treaty had in mind was one in which a parent snatched a child away from its primary carer and fled overseas. Now, with relationships between people of different nationalities more commonplace, the situation is often that one of the parents takes the children back to his or her country of origin. That was the position in Re E, a case decided by the supreme court last week.

Historically the English courts, in contrast to those of a number of other signatories, have taken their treaty obligations very seriously and, applying the convention strictly, have returned children to their countries of habitual residence. In doing so they have frequently rejected a mother’s attempt to rely on the limited exceptions to the convention obligations, most commonly that a return would expose the child to a grave risk of physical or psychological harm.

The British mother in Re E who had left her allegedly violent Norwegian husband to come with the children to England was ordered by a high court judge to return, with safeguards being put in place pending a court decision in Oslo. The mother appealed, arguing that the convention conflicted with her own and her children’s article 8 rights to private and family life (under the European convention on human rights) and with the United Nations convention on the rights of the child, which requires any action concerning children to be determined in accordance with their best interests.

Given the English courts’ traditional adherence to the aims of the Hague convention, it is not surprising that the supreme court rejected the mother’s appeal in Re E and ordered her and the children’s return to Norway. In doing so it reasserted the principles that have underpinned the traditional approach, that one parent’s unilateral actions should not be allowed to pre-empt a legitimate dispute about a child’s future and that a home country’s courts are likely to be best placed to assess the evidence and information surrounding such a dispute.

The supreme court’s decision is arguably at odds with the judgment of the European court of human rights in Neulinger, in which the Strasbourg court decided that, even where there was no grave risk, a forced return could interfere with the mother’s and child’s right to a private and family life. The Neulinger decision suggests that the country being asked to return a child to its home country should undertake the investigation into the best future arrangements for the child.

The English court has reconciled the conflict, asserting that the convention is consistent with the article 8 right to private and family life; the supreme court decided that the convention properly balances the two key aspects of a child’s best interests in the context of wrongful removal from their home country: to be reunited with their parents and to be brought up in a safe environment.

What this means in practice is that the English courts will continue to be reluctant to refuse the return of a child wrongfully brought here from overseas. Whether other signatories of the convention will be as strict in its application remains to be seen. The list of member countries continues to grow – Japan recently ratified the convention and India is under pressure to do the same soon. How they and other countries will reconcile their treaty obligations with those imposed by other instruments of international law is unclear.

Joe Vaitilingam is a partner at Hughes Fowler Carruthers solicitors, specialising in financial and children issues arising on divorce

Follow our updates on Twitter and Facebook

Custody Laws – Violating the Custody Order Through Parental Kidnapping

If you are lucky to have your child back after he or she was kidnapped by your ex-spouse, you will now have to deal with another nightmare: the resulting trauma on your child.

The effects of parental kidnapping are emotionally, developmentally and psychologically devastating on children who in a moment were stolen away from their entire world of familiarity. Parents stealing children after a high conflict custody battle is not uncommon. Surprisingly more than 50 percent of these kidnappings take place during a scheduled visitation after which the child is not returned.

Taking a child away and concealing his or her location to the custodial parent in violation of a visitation order is a crime and a form of child abuse. Parental abduction has permanent ramifications in the victim’s life. The emotional effects on the abducted child can be as harmful as those of sexual abuse or neglect. After such an experience, children tend to be more timid, clingy, and relate poorly to others.

In her presentation to the United Nations Convention on Child Rights titled “Parental Child Abduction is Child Abuse”, Dr. Nancy Faulkner identified nine of the many harmful effects parental abduction can have on a child:

  • Reactive Attachment Disorder
  • Learned Helplessness
  • Fear and Phobias
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Guilt
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Parental Alienation
  • Separation Anxiety and Fear of Abandonment
  • Grief

If you have been in a prolonged and highly conflictive custody and visitation battle, you must rigorously adhere to the guidelines in the order. The same is applicable to your ex-spouse. He or she must abide to the time share percentages and visitation calendar conformed in the order. Many custodial parents are so drained after a custody dispute that they avoid having to go to court in order to enforce or modify the order. However, it is your obligation to watch over your child’s health, safety and welfare. A parent who regularly fails to comply with the visitation schedule or percentages of time share is not acting right. He or she is acting in contempt of the court. He or she is been disrespectful to you, to your child, and to our legal system. This parent is not a good role model for your child, and in fact, he or she might turn out to be a bad influence for your kid.

Repetitive violations to the custody and visitation order mean that you must go back to court to have the order enforced. The parent who regularly fails to comply with the visitation schedule is relating in an erratic and unhealthy manner with your child. This type of conduct should be addressed and penalized from the very start, in order to avoid a more serious violation, such as your child being kidnapped by your ex-spouse.

Find out about the custody laws that will impact your case, and learn how to get the custody order you want.

Article Source:

Follow our updates on Twitter and Facebook

Father fights for daughter in parental kidnapping case

Source:  Jessica Rush, June 13, 2011

Ronnie Baker / Staff Photo –For the last two years, Plano father Bart Hermer has dedicated his life to seeing his daughter returned from overseas. Alessia was abducted by her mother and represents one of more than 200,000 family abduction cases in the United States every year
Bart Hermer carries a pacifier with him at all times. It’s purple with flecks of glitter and has the words “Princess Alessia” scrolled across the plastic.
He keeps the soother as a small comfort of his own — a reminder that his 2-year-old daughter, Alessia, is still out there and waiting to be reunited with her father.For now, Alessia lives in the United Kingdom with her mother, 40-year-old Simmone Cohen, who is a British citizen. Hermer and his parents have spent around $75,000 on an international custody battle that has left them drained both monetarily and emotionally.

Every night, Hermer sleeps on a bed in the nursery to feel closer to his daughter, but an empty crib is a constant reminder that the woman who first stole his heart, also stole his most precious possession.
Hermer and Cohen’s relationship started out as a picture-perfect romance. He fell for her British accent and stunning looks when they met on a single’s cruise in 2007, and months later they were visiting each other’s countries. The aging couple talked about both wanting children, so within a matter of months they were engaged.”I swear on my daughter’s life, heart and soul we never had an argument,” Hermer said, reflecting on the blissful times. “We were the envy of everybody we knew.”

The two began planning for a wedding at the Dallas Arboretum — plans that were delayed when Cohen found out she was pregnant with Alessia. When the baby was 10 months old, Cohen planned a regular trip for the three of them to visit her family in London. Hermer said he had just been laid off from his job as an advertising executive, but Cohen had income from her marketing business she ran from their Plano home.

While going through customs at the London airport, Hermer was pulled aside and questioned. A customs officer accused him of trying to enter the country with the intention to live there — information Hermer’s fiancee had told them. As much as Hermer denied the story, he was sent back to the United States alone, and Cohen and Alessia remained in England.

“I was set up,” Hermer said. “The truth was she just wanted a baby.”

Back in Texas, Cohen’s designer clothes still hang in the closet. Her laptop was left behind, and a Plano detective confirmed in writing that she wrote messages contradicting their happy engagement.

“I definitley [sic] don’t want to marry him,” Cohen wrote in one Skype message to a family member. “… he knows I am delaying things so he may have guessed,” she wrote to a friend.

“She played him like a sucker,” Hermer’s mother, Kathy, said. “She lied about everything.”

An epidemic
The Hermer’s are not alone in their daily struggle with parental kidnapping. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) estimates more than 200,000 family abduction cases occur annually in the United States.

In cases involving children taken from the United States to the United Kingdom, 92 percent of cases are unresolved for longer than a year, and 38 percent are unresolved for more than five years, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children database.

Hermer has tried to use international child abduction laws from the Hague Convention to get Alessia back. Article 3 of the convention talks about the “rights of custody” and says the courts must use the law of the state — in this case Texas — where the child was a resident before being abducted.

Even with letters of support from Texas Senators Florence Shapiro and Jane Nelson and state Rep. Jerry Madden, most of Hermer’s evidence was not allowed in the British court.

“I was not given a fair trial,” Hermer said. “I have solid evidence from credible people … and that evidence was not allowed. A lot of these countries will not return a child because of gender bias.”

After a crushing loss with denial of appeal, Hermer is trying a different approach. He hopes Attorney General Greg Abbott will push to have Cohen extradited to Texas on felony kidnapping charges.

“If my child stays there, it sets the precedent for thousands of children in the future,” Hermer said.

Time is ticking
Two years have passed with Hermer devoting his life to studying state and federal parental kidnapping law. He now works as assistant director of the Global Missing Children Fund.
Precedence from other international kidnapping cases shows that courts consider a child acclimated to their new country once they reach 3 years old. After that point, the courts are reluctant to return the child.

“I’ve got six months,” Hermer said, desperation in his voice. “She’s my life. She’s my pride. I don’t want to catch up with her in my 70s.”

He sees her occassionally when he is allowed to enter England for scheduled court hearings, but the trips are expensive and visitation is never guaranteed.

“When they are together it’s like they’ve never been separated for a moment,” Kathy said. “They had such a tight bond.”

Hermer is praying that someone will hear Alessia’s story and know how to help. While he is openly thankful for the ongoing support from Jewish Family Services, a separate fund has been set up for donations to offset some of the court costs at

“I’ll never quit until she’s in that crib,” he said. “I don’t care what it takes.”

Follow our updates on Twitter and Facebook