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International adultery, abuse, custody, kidnapping dispute

A husband and wife from Tennessee moved to the United Arab Emirates last year with their 1-year-old daughter. Like many former military here in the Houston, Texas, area, the former U.S. Army Special Forces member got a job in the Persian Gulf as a military contractor.

Soon thereafter, the husband accused his wife of having an affair with a co-worker while in Dubai. He also says she was addicted to drugs. He filed criminal court documents against his wife in the UAE where it is illegal to have sex outside of the marriage. The wife faced immediate imprisonment and capital punishment if convicted.

Therefore, she fled the country. She moved back to Tennessee where she filed an international child custody and kidnapping suit against her husband along with claims that he physically and sexually abused her. She has photos of bruises to prove it, she says. A U.S. judge ordered her husband to return to the country with their daughter.

The husband says his attorneys in the UAE have advised him not the leave the country until the criminal proceedings against his wife are complete. He has offered to pay for his wife's return to the Middle Eastern country and assures her that she will only face minimal jail time if convicted on the adultery charges. The wife is not taking that chance.

The Tennessee judge has revoked the husband's passport for failing to comply with the orders to return the little girl to the U.S., though he recognizes that it will be next to impossible to get any American custody orders enforced in the UAE.

The United Arab Emirates is not part of the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and the country does not recognize American family law courts.

Source:, "Husband wants American wife to face adultery charge in UAE in child custody dispute," Kristin M. Hall, May 29, 2012

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