According to lawyers, due to the nomadic lifestyle of the former couple, Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas, their legal battle over their children is expected to be a complex matter.
Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas’ custody battle will be thorny
A few days after Joe Jonas filed for divorce from Sophie Turner, the Game of Thrones actor initiated legal proceedings to bring their children back from the United States to their original home in the UK. Lawyers have indicated that even though not all details are clear, the transatlantic custody battle is likely to be “very contentious.”
It will need to be determined where the children were residing recently
Family lawyer Marlin Chinits said that the court should primarily establish where Sophie and Joe’s children were residing recently – their ‘home state.’ However, due to the former couple’s ‘peripatetic lifestyle,’ this might prove to be challenging. The lawyers are asking questions like, “Where were the children living? Where did they go to their doctors? Where did they go for their activities? Which roots were established by all of you?”
The sale of their Miami mansion has added complexity
While Joe claims that the children – a three-year-old daughter named Villa and a one-year-old daughter – were living in various places in Miami and the US, Sophie stated that the family relocated to London five months ago. The sale of their Miami home has further complicated matters, as there is now no property in the US for which Florida could be claimed as the children’s primary residence.
In her filing, Sophie claimed that the children are “fully integrated into all aspects of daily and cultural life in England,” highlighting the “full-time” nursery placement of their eldest daughter as evidence to make the UK their children’s legal home.
The dispute deepens with Joe’s assertion that the former couple entered into a contract in July to purchase a property in the UK. California-based family law attorney David Glass pointed out, “It doesn’t matter where they spent most of their time. The question is, where did they spend the last six months or, in this case, do they need to be in a new international jurisdiction for six months before the court can say that it is their habitual residence? The big argument is going to be, ‘Was there ever an agreement between them that they would make London their home?'”
What’s best for the children
Both lawyers agree that the children’s citizenship does not impact the judge’s decision between the US and Britain. If no ‘home state’ can be established, the question becomes, ‘What is in the best interest of the children, and with whom should they reside?’ This is genuinely challenging since both Sophie and Joe’s careers require them to travel extensively. Chinits noted, “I’m far away for a long time.”
On Thursday, Sophie filed a request in a New York Southern District court that Joe Jonas returns their two children to their ‘habitual residence’ in England. According to court documents, the actor’s legal team is demanding the return of the children to England, claiming that Sophie has kept them “wrongfully since around September 20, 2023.