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Actor Sophie Turner has sued pop star Joe Jonas for the return of their two young children to England, saying in the filing Jonas will not turn over the kids’ passports.
The petition comes after the celebrity pair announced their split earlier this month following four years of marriage.
The court documents, filed Thursday in the Southern District of New York, said the couple’s children, born in 2020 and 2022, have been wrongfully retained in New York City since Sept. 20 from “their habitual residence” in England.
The petition stated that the “Game of Thrones” star and Jonas Brothers singer made England their permanent home in April after much discussion and a desire to have the children attend school in England.
They moved into a rental on a long-term basis in May and entered contracts to purchase a home in July with a plan to move there in December, the filing said.
But the couple’s relationship was apparently strained by complicated travel arrangements over the summer.
They decided that as Turner started filming a new drama series in the U.K. in May, the children would travel with Jonas and a nanny as he kicked off his tour with the Jonas Brothers in the United States in late July.
The plan, the petition said, was for the children to stay with Jonas and his extended family until Turner finished filming and she’d travel to New York in mid-September and return to the U.K. with the kids.
Then came the divorce.
The petition said that the couple had an argument Aug. 15 and “on or about Sept. 1” Jonas filed for divorce in Florida. Turner only learned about the divorce filing Sept. 5 through the media, the petition said.
The petition said that Jonas’ divorce filings incorrectly claimed that the children had resided in Florida for six months prior to the divorce filing.
On Sept. 17, Turner and Jonas met to discuss their separation and Turner reiterated their agreement for the children to return to England that week.
The petition stated that Jonas was in possession of the children’s passports — but refused to hand them over and send them with Turner back to England.
The petition was filed after Jonas allegedly refused to let the children go with their mother, which ” is a breach of the Mother’s rights of custody under English law, England being the children’s habitual residence.”
The petition stated that the children, who have dual citizenship, are “fully involved and integrated” in daily life in England with the older child attending school and both involved in playdates and cultural activities.
Turner has requested the return of her children to England, has submitted her application for return with the Central Authority for England and Wales, and says that she “never consented or acquiesced to the removal of the children from England,” the court documents said.
The children are currently with Turner in New York, the filing said.
NBC News has reached out to Jonas’ representatives for comment.
The petition was filed through the child abduction clauses of the Hague Convention — an international treaty adopted by more than 100 countries, including the U.S. — which aims to compel the return of a child taken by their parent from their country of “habitual residence.”
The child abduction clause is mostly enforced against mothers, rather than fathers, making Turner’s petition against Jonas notable.
In Hague cases filed in 2015, the most recent year for which data is available, mothers made up 73% of the parents who took their children to another country. Fathers made up fewer than a quarter of the parents who took their children that year, while the last 3% consisted of grandparents, institutions or other relatives, the data shows.
The star couple met in 2016. They eloped in Las Vegas in 2019 and then had an intimate ceremony a month later at Château de Tourreau in the south of France. Turner gave birth to their first child, a daughter named Willa, in July 2020, and their second child was born two years later.
Jonas said the marriage with Turner was “irretrievably broken” in his divorce filing earlier this month.
Turner and Jonas said they “mutually decided to amicably end our marriage” in joint statements on their respective Instagram accounts on Sept. 6.
“There are many speculative narratives as to why but, truly this is a united decision and we sincerely hope that everyone can respect our wishes for privacy for us and our children,” they said.