11 March 2006

Derry Mother Loses Us Appeal For Custody Of Her Son

Derry Journal

Friday 10th March 2006

Derry mother, Cara Gunn has lost her appeal to gain custody of her son Dylan in the American courts and has said she is doubtful over whether to continue her long custody battle. The bad news came yesterday following good news earlier in the week when Ms. Gunn was awarded a green card ensuring her permanent residency in the United States.

In 2004, after her visa expired, she faced the prospect of having to leave her son behind in the US when a court granted custody to her estranged American husband. Ms. Gunn had fled the US earlier in the year, following the break-up of her marriage, but was subsequently forced - as a result of international law - to return to face a custody hearing. Her case sparked uproar and money needed to appeal the custody decision in favour of her exhusband was raised within four days. However after a long battle, the 'tug of love' mother was told yesterday that her son would be staying with his father.

Speaking to the 'Journal' following the decision Ms Gunn said that she had expected the appeal to fail but it was still disheartening. "The appeal wasn't based on any new evidence so it means that they didn't have the evidence about my green card so my one chance is that if I do apply for a supplemental petition we can get an opportunity to put that information forward."

However, Cara admitted yesterday that the battle through the courts has taken a lot out of her. She said: "At this point, I'm wondering how long I can drag this out. Maybe it's just time to accept that the best I can hope for is more visiting time. Dylan is so content at the moment and it seems unfair to put him through this." Ms Gunn lives with her fifteen year old daughter who is currently awaiting her green card. "As soon as Laura gets her green card, we'll be able to get back to Derry for a visit," the Derry mother said yesterday.

"In the meantime I'm just going to get on with work and try and spend as much time with both my children as I can."

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