Portrait of John K Grubb

Texas Divorce and Prenuptial Agreement

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15-Year-Old Texas Girl Wrongly Deported to Colombia

A young Texas lady made international headlines for a mix-up involving divorce and immigration. 15-year-old Jakadrien Turner ran away from home two years after her parents went through a difficult divorce and her grandfather passed away. Originally from Dallas, she ended up in Houston last year where police arrested her on theft charges. In a bizarre twist of events, immigration officials sent Jakadrien to Colombia where she remained for eight months until returning to Texas last week.

When policed arrested Jakadrien, she said she was a 21-year-old illegal immigrant from Bogota, Colombia. She told her lawyer and authorities that her name was Tika Lanay Cortez. Evidently no one followed up on the false information she gave, including a diplomat from Colombia who met with her just as US authorities were getting ready to deport her. Her deportation proceedings went forward, and she ended up in a Colombian detention facility. Compounding problems and making the case all the more puzzling is the fact that Jakadrien speaks no Spanish at all.

After eight months, Jakadrien finally returned to Texas last week after weeks of diplomatic pressure from US officials. Colombia was under no requirement to cooperate, though. In child custody cases, for example, Colombia prefers to apply its own law even where there are court orders in place in the US. Colombia is a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, which did provide some hope that Colombia’s courts would return the girl to the US, the country with jurisdiction over her.

International travel adds to the complexities of deciding family law issues. Have you been involved in family law case with overseas courts? How did US court orders and international agreements help your case?

John K. Grubb & Associates, P.C. – Houston divorce attorneys

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