The media has been buzzing with the news that Game of Thrones star, Sophie Turner, and boy band legend, Joe Jonas, have called in split after their four year marriage. Up until today, the question of custody of the two celebrities’ minor daughters has been a question for their divorce, filed on September 5, 2023 in Miami, Florida..
But that has all changed. This is an S.O.S because this week, Turner filed a new lawsuit: a petition in New York for the immediate return of their two young daughters to England.
What People Magazine and other Hollywood reporting is getting wrong about Turner’s petition is – this is not a custody case. While Willa, 3 years old, and D, 14 months, are certainly the center of the new lawsuit – the legal question is not the best interests of the celebrities minor child. Instead, the New York court is going to wrestle with a jurisdictional question of which place – United States or United Kingdom – is going to be the proper venue for questions of custody.
The request for immediate return of Willa and D to England is definitely a strategic move as a part of the parties ’freshly filed dissolution of their marriage.
Identifying where or not England was the children’s habitual residence is going to be key, costly, and complicated – given the parties prior residence in Miami being sold, Jonas’ touring status with the minor daughters in tow, Turner’s filming across the pond, and turner’s recent allegations that the parties had the intend for the daughters to reside and be raised in their “forever home” of England.
Even still, the New York Court will have to test whether there are any valid defenses applicable which would find that Willa and D can remain in New York with Jonas – such as consent.
While deciding the jurisdictional question is complex, the decision will be quick – much quicker than either party can hope any decision to occur in their divorce proceedings.
The reality is, jurisdiction regarding the two daughters will be critical as while both the United States and the United Kingdom have ratified the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction – allowing children wrongfully retained and wrongfully removed from their habitual residence to be returned expeditiously – the laws of both countries are quite different.
As the parties embark on their divorce, the question of immediate jurisdiction and return of the child will no doubt take precedence and priority. International family law is complex and intricate, requiring significant focus, attention, and specialization to execute properly. The Manely Firm, P.C. has that focus, attention, and specialization and the trial teams are eager to observe the Turner v. Jonas Hague case unfold.
God help the both of them.