The Custody Dispute Between Sophie Turner And Joe Jonas Is Anticipated To Be Challenging And Complex
(The Custody Dispute Between Sophie Turner And Joe Jonas Is Anticipated To Be Challenging And Complex /Image Credits: HuffPost UK)

In the aftermath of their separation, Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas disagree regarding the residence of their two young daughters. Legal experts caution that international custody disputes can become contentious in such situations. Get instant updates at

On Thursday, Turner, aged 27, filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York, requesting the return of her two children with Jonas - Willa, aged 3, and their 14-month-old daughter, referred to as D. in court documents - to their habitual residence in England.

Illegally withheld

According to the documents obtained, Turner's legal team, citing the Hague Convention, an international treaty, is seeking the return of the children to England. Turner claims the children have been wrongfully retained since on or about September 20, 2023.

The documents state that Turner and Jonas had agreed that England would be their permanent home after selling their house in Miami in April. In recent months, Turner has been filming the miniseries Joan in England, while Jonas has been on tour with their daughters.

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Collaboratively strive for a common goal

On the 5th of September, Jonas initiated legal proceedings to dissolve his marriage with Turner. In response to Turner's lawsuit, Jonas stated on Thursday that during their meeting in New York City last weekend, they had agreed to work together towards an amicable co-parenting arrangement.

However, Turner alleges in the documents that Jonas is withholding their daughters passports to prevent her from returning to the United Kingdom with them. Following the exchange, an interview with Marilyn Chinitz, a marital partner at Blank Rome LLP, and David Glass, a family law attorney based in California, both of whom are not involved in the legal dispute between Turner and Jonas. 

The court's primary responsibility lies in determining

Chinitz predicts that the case will be challenging, as the court must primarily determine the children's home state, given the former couple's peripatetic lifestyle. Glass cites the Hague Convention's clauses on child abduction from one parent and emphasizes that the court must determine where the children spent the last six months or the longest extended period. 

He notes that typically, a new international jurisdiction must be lived in for six months before the court can declare it the children's habitual residence. Jonas claims that the children lived in Miami and other locations in the U.S., while Turner asserts that the family relocated to a London short-term rental in April and began house-hunting. 

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The intricacy of the matter at hand

Chinitz highlights the complexity of the case, given the recent sale of their Miami home, and emphasises that the court must determine the roots established for the children, including where they stayed, went to their doctors, and participated in activities. 

Turner's filing asserts that the children are fully involved and integrated in all aspects of daily and cultural life in England, citing their eldest's full-time nursery attendance and local doctors, further supporting the U.K. as the children's legal home.

A challenge has been presented to Jonas

The Custody Dispute Between Sophie Turner And Joe Jonas Is Anticipated To Be Challenging And Complex
(A challenge has been presented to Jonas /Image Credits: People)

Further complicating the matter, according to Glass, is that the couple has sold their Miami home, the only property they owned together in the United States. This absence of property ownership in the United States may challenge Jonas in establishing Florida as the children's primary residence. 

Both legal representatives concur that the children's dual citizenship in the United States and the United Kingdom holds no relevance to the judge's ruling. Consequently, it is incumbent upon the judge to ascertain the children's paramount welfare and determine the custodial parent.

A couple has come to a confidential arrangement

However, this decision will be difficult as both parents have demanding careers requiring extended travel periods. Both lawyers recommend that the couple reach a private agreement through mediation or a private judge to avoid a potentially unsatisfactory outcome. 

Chinitz emphasises that the parents must communicate with each other and come to a mutual understanding, as one parent is likely to be unhappy if the matter goes to court. No hearing date regarding the children's residency has been set for the federal case.

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