Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas' custody battle will be thorny, sale of their Miami home makes it more complicated: Report
Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas' legal battle over their kids is expected to be a complex case, according to lawyers, due to the former couple's nomadic lifestyles.
Days after Joe Jonas filed for divorce from Sophie Turner, the Game of Thrones' actor sued the singer for the return of their children from the US to her native UK. Now, a report by People citing lawyers, neither of whom are involved in Sophie Turner and Joe's legal dispute, predicts that the former couple's transatlantic custody battle is 'going to be a very thorny case'. Also read: Joe Jonas reacts after Sophie Turner claims he's withholding kids' passports
It's going to come down to where did the kids stay
Marilyn Chinitz, a matrimonial lawyer told People that the court must primarily establish where Sophie and Joe Jonas' children most recently lived - their 'home state'. But due to the former couple's ‘peripatetic lifestyle’, this will be 'hard to gauge'. She was quoted as saying by the portal, “It's going to be a very thorny case. It's going to come down to, where are the roots that were established for these kids. The reality is, they had a home in Miami and they travelled (a lot). So the court's going to say, but where did the kids stay? Where did they go to their doctors? Where did they go to their activities? What were the roots that you all established?”
Sale of their Miami mansion adds to the complexity
While Joe has claimed the children – three-year-old daughter Willa and a one-year-old daughter – had been living in Miami and other locations in the US, Sophie has that said five months ago the family relocated to a London short-term rental and began house-hunting. The recent sale of their Miami home makes it all the more complicated, Marilyn Chinitz added.
In her filing, Sophie reportedly said that the children 'are both fully involved and integrated in all aspects of daily and cultural life in England', further making the case for the UK being the children's legal home by citing their eldest daughter's 'full time' nursery attendance.
Further speaking about Sophie's claim in her Thursday filing that the former couple entered into a contract to purchase a property in the UK in July, David Glass, a California-based family law attorney told People, “It doesn't matter where they spent the majority of their time. The question is: where did they spend the last six months or where did they spend the longest extended period of time in this case? You need to live in a new international jurisdiction for six months before the court can say that that country is the children's habitual residence. The big argument is going to be, 'Did they ever have an agreement between them that they would make London their home?”
What's best for the children
Further complicating matters, by offloading their Miami home, 'they sold the one piece of property that they owned together in the United States', Glass added. By not owning a piece of property in the US, he says, it may be challenging for Joe to claim Florida as the children's primary residence.
Both lawyers agree the children's citizenship between the US and UK does not impact the judge's decision. If a judge cannot establish a ‘home state’, the question turns to 'what's the best interest of the children, who should they be with' and that's going to be really tough because both of them have demanding careers where they travel, where they're away for extended periods of time, said Chinitz.
On Thursday, Sophie, filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York requesting that her two children with Joe Jonas be returned to ‘their habitual residence’ of England. Per court documents, the actor’s legal team is calling for the return of the children to England, who Sophie alleges have been wrongfully retained beginning 'on or about September 20, 2023'.