Legal Battle Unfolds as Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas’ Divorce Takes International Turn

The divorce between actress Sophie Turner and musician Joe Jonas has taken an unexpected international twist, as court documents reveal a custody dispute over their children. In a lawsuit filed in the Southern District of New York, Turner claims that their kids, residing in New York City since September 20, have been wrongfully retained in the United States, away from their habitual residence in England. This legal saga has invoked the 1980 Hague Convention, designed to address civil proceedings for children wrongfully removed from their home country, and the U.S. International Child Abduction Remedies Act.

The lawsuit, lodged in Manhattan federal court, coincides with the children’s current location in Manhattan, where Jonas owns a condo in Nolita. Turner asserts that she and Jonas made the United Kingdom their permanent home in April, primarily to provide their children with an English education. According to the legal filing, the family secured a long-term rental property in May and entered into contracts to purchase a home, with plans to move there in December. The suit acknowledges that their careers led them on a nomadic journey until April 2023, where they had not committed to settling in one location, leading a peripatetic lifestyle with various properties.

The lawsuit further emphasizes the couple’s mutual agreement that the U.K. would be their family’s primary residence. “All throughout their marriage, and particularly after their children were born, the parties often discussed their desire to raise their children in England and for their children to attend school in England,” the suit states. England was viewed as a safe and nurturing environment to raise their family.

During a visit to Turner’s hometown of Warwickshire in 2020, the couple jointly decided to seek their “forever home” in England, select a school for their older daughter, and establish their family there. In July, the family relocated to the U.K. after choosing a property in Oxford and listing their Miami house for sale.

The lawsuit asserts that the children are now fully immersed in English daily and cultural life. They have received medical and dental care and have been introduced to local dentists, doctors, and extracurricular activities. Turner, who began filming a new TV series in her homeland last spring, planned for the children to accompany Jonas and a nanny during the Jonas Brothers’ U.S. tour in late July. Her intention was to travel to New York City in mid-September and then return to England with the children, who were scheduled to stay with Jonas and his extended family.

However, these plans took an unexpected turn when Jonas filed for divorce in Miami-Dade County Court in Florida earlier this month. In his filing, he sought joint custody and stated that “the marriage between the parties is irretrievably broken.” The couple shares two children, with their younger daughter’s name not disclosed. Both children hold dual citizenship in the U.S. and the U.K.

The divorce was publicly announced by the couple on September 6, with Turner alleging that Jonas filed for divorce on September 1, following an argument on August 15. Turner claims she learned of the divorce filing through media reports on September 5.

The heart of the dispute revolves around the children’s passports, which Turner asserts are in Jonas’s possession. She alleges that he has refused to hand them over, hindering her plans to return to England with the children. Turner filed the lawsuit, claiming that her soon-to-be ex-husband’s actions constitute “a breach of the Mother’s rights of custody under English law, England being the children’s habitual residence.”

In response to Thursday’s legal filing, Jonas contested Turner’s claim that she learned of the divorce through media reports, citing that the Florida court has already issued an order restricting both parents from relocating the children.

In a statement provided to The Daily News, Jonas stated, “Joe is seeking shared parenting with the kids so that they are raised by both their mother and father, and is of course also okay with the kids being raised both in the U.S. and the UK. The children were born in the U.S. and have spent the vast majority of their lives in the U.S. They are American citizens.”

He continued, “This is an unfortunate legal disagreement about a marriage that is sadly ending. When language like ‘abduction’ is used, it is misleading at best, and a serious abuse of the legal system at worst. The children were not abducted. After being in Joe’s care for the past three months at the agreement of both parties, the children are currently with their mother. Sophie is making this claim only to move the divorce proceedings to the UK and to remove the children from the U.S. permanently.”

As this high-profile divorce unfolds, it raises complex legal questions about international custody, highlighting the challenges faced by families spanning multiple countries and the emotional toll such disputes can take on all involved parties

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