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Soldier's international custody battle over daughter reaches US Supreme Court

A U.S. army soldier's fight to overturn a ruling that sent his young daughter to live with her mother in Scotland reached the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Fox4KC reports the court heard arguments in the case of Sgt. Jeffrey Chafin, who is arguing he has the legal right to appeal a federal judge’s decision in an international custody battle between him and his estranged wife Lynne Chafin over their 5-year-old daughter Eris.

Last year the judge ruled international law dictated Lynne Chafin could return with Eris to her native Scotland, saying Scotland was the “habitual residence” of the child. She was awarded full custody. 

The child was born in Germany but lived in Scotland with her mother while her father served 15 months in Afghanistan, Fox4KC reports. The family then moved to Alabama but the couple's marriage deteriorated.

Jeff Chafin blamed their marriage woes on his wife's alleged drinking problem. Lynne Chafin was arrested for attacking a cab driver and domestic violence in 2010, and was deported in 2011.

The Supreme Court will decide whether to reverse the earlier custody decision, but the ruling would still not guarantee Eris would return to the U.S., Fox4KC reports. The decision is expected in the spring.

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