Image: Christopher Smith, David Goldman
Eraldo Peres  /  AP
David Goldman, right, and Rep. Christopher Smith, R-N.J., arrive in Brasilia, Brazil, on Thursday. Goldman worked out a deal with Brazilian officials to see his son, who was taken to Brazil four years ago by Goldman's then wife.
updated 2/7/2009 1:20:41 PM ET 2009-02-07T18:20:41

An American who has waged a four-year custody battle for his son in Brazil reached an agreement Friday to visit the 8-year-old boy.

David Goldman reached the agreement during a five-hour mediation session. The custody battle started in 2004 after his wife took the boy to her native Brazil, according to Goldman.

U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, who traveled to Brazil with Goldman in an attempt to reunite him with his son, announced the agreement after attending the session, which was presided over by a high-ranking federal judge.

Smith said the agreement included a deal that no details of the visit will be disclosed.

Goldman called the hearing "a first step" and said he hoped he would see the boy soon.

He said he has not seen his son since his former wife Bruna took the boy for a two-week vacation to her native Brazil in 2004 and never returned.

She later divorced Goldman in Brazil — a divorce he says is not valid in the United States — and married Rio de Janeiro lawyer Joao Paulo Lins e Silva. She died last year of complications from the birth of another child.

Lins e Silva and his lawyer did not speak to reporters after Friday's session.

Smith, a New Jersey Republican, introduced a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday accusing Brazil of violating an international treaty by failing to reunite father and son quickly.

New Jersey's senators, Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez, also wrote an open letter to Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva asserting that Brazil has failed to comply with the treaty.

Goldman is from Tinton Falls, N.J., where he owns a charter boat business and sells real estate.

Brazilian law prohibits publication in Brazil of names of minors in legal cases for privacy reasons.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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