Joe Jonas filed for divorce from Sophie Turner on Sept. 5. She sued him just 16 days later over custody of their two children — 3-year-old Willa and a 1-year-old daughter whose name they’ve yet to share — claiming “wrongful retention.”
While it may seem like their marriage of four years went kaput out of nowhere — after getting into a yet-to-be-explained argument on his 34th birthday — Sophie actually traces things all the way back to December, when she claims they agreed to search for their “forever home” in the U.K.
The following is a timeline based on accounts Sophie stated in court documents she filed Thursday in the Southern District of New York. Joe has since responded to the “unfortunate” lawsuit filed against him over custody of their two children.
December 2022 — Searching for their ‘forever home’
Sophie claims they were in England last Christmas when they “jointly decided that they would look for their ‘forever home’ in England, select a school for their older daughter in England, and settle their family in England.”
She went on to claim that they decided “the timing was right for the family to settle permanently in England, particularly given the older child’s age.”
Sophie claims the search for their “forever home” started that December and continued through July.
“The parties physically toured family homes in England together,” the court documents state. “They looked at a number of different areas in England, with the goal of purchasing a home in an area with good connections to Warwickshire and London. The parties found a beautiful country property in Henley on Thames, England, and both agreed they would purchase the property for the family’s permanent home.”
She goes on to claim that they “exchanged contracts with the sellers to purchase the property on July 7, 2023, with the completion date scheduled for December 2, 2023. The parties looked forward to spending their Christmas 2023 holiday with the children, family, and friends in their new home in England.”
April 2023 — They call England home
Sophie claims that “from the beginning of their relationship they have spent regular time in England, including with their friends and family.”
“Until April 2023,” she continues in court documents, “the parties moved frequently due to the nature and requirements of their careers.”
Then, in April 2023, Sophie claims they “made England their permanent home.”
She claims that due to their busy careers, they “had not, until April 2023, committed to setting down roots in any particular place” because they “lived a very peripatetic lifestyle.”
After giving birth to their second child, Sophie says they purchased a property in Miami in 2021 but “never planned to live in Miami on a long-term basis.” She claims that “all throughout their marriage … [they] often discussed their desire to raise their children in England and for their Children to attend school in England. [They] regarded England as a safe location to raise their children.”
Sophie and Joe put their $15 million home in Miami up for sale on April 16, and they sold it in August. Before leaving Miami — and renting a number of properties all over the world — Sophie claims they “shipped many of the children’s personal belongings to England” and that the “remainder of the children’s belongings were placed into storage, to be kept there until the parties had purchased a new home in England.”
She says the family relocated to England on April 10.
July 31 — Joe leaves England with his children
Sophie says Joe had to leave England as the Jonas Brothers were getting ready to kick off their Five Albums international tour on Aug. 12 at Yankee Stadium. She claims they agreed the children would travel with him and a nanny for a vacation in August because her filming schedule for August 2023 was “very intense, with long hours during the daytime when the children would be awake.”
She claims that, with some hesitation, they agreed it would be best for the children to be with Joe and a nanny and that Sophie would travel to meet them in the U.S. in September. She claims that they agreed “the children moving around with the Father on tour was only going to be a temporary arrangement.”
She claims that the agreed upon plan was for her to finish filming on Sept. 14, and then travel to New York to collect the children and return home to England a week later.
Aug. 15 — The fight
Sophie claims that “thereafter, the breakdown of the parties’ marriage happened very suddenly.” The birthday celebration got off to a sweet start, with Sophie taking to social media to wish her “handsome” husband a happy birthday. She posted a photo of the pair wearing matching pajamas.
But at some point that day, Sophie claims they got into an argument, though she doesn’t offer any details.
Sept. 5 — Joe files for divorce
Just 21 days after that argument, Joe files his divorce papers in Miami, Florida, citing that “the marriage between the parties is irretrievably broken.”
According to the petition, the couple’s two children have been living with Jonas in Miami, Florida, and “it is in the best interests of the minor children that the parties have shared parental responsibility.” The former couple also have a prenup in place.
Sophie refutes that claim in her court documents.
Sept. 17 — They meet to discuss the separation
Sophie claims that when they met to discuss their separation, she reiterated their agreed plan for the children to return home to England that week. She claims Joe has possession of the children’s passports but he “refuses to return the passports to [Sophie] and refuses to send the children home to England with [Sophie].”
Sept. 18 — She wants the passports
Sophie’s attorney in England “reconfirmed to [Joe’s] Florida attorney that [Sophie] intended to return home to England with the children as planned on September 20, 2023, and requested that the children’s passports be returned to [her].”
But on Sept. 19, Sophie claims Joe’s attorney confirmed that the singer will not return the passports and “will not consent for the children to return home to England.”
The court documents state, “Based on [Joe’s] express statements that he will not return the children to England and will not return the children’s passports to [Sophie], on September 20, 2023, [Sophie] has submitted her Hague Convention Application for Return to the Central Authority for England & Wales seeking the return of the children to England.”
Sept. 21 — Sophie sues Joe
In court documents filed in the Southern District of New York, Sophie claims she sued Joe “as a result of the wrongful retention of two children, WRJ, born in 2020, and DMJ, born in 2022 in New York City from their habitual residence of England.” The Game of Thrones star claims “the wrongful retention” of their two children began on Sept. 20.
In court documents, Sophie cites the “Convention on the civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, done at the Hague on October 25, 1980; International Child Abduction Remedies Act.” And she does so because the Convention came into effect in the U.S. in 1988 and it was ratified between the U.S. and the U.K. that same year.
Sophie’s argument is that “the objectives of the Convention are to secure the immediate return of children wrongfully removed or wrongfully retained in any Contracting State, and to ensure that ‘rights to custody’ under the law of one Contracting State are effectively respected in the other Contracting States.”
In other words, there’s an international law whose jurisdiction extends to the U.S. and the U.K. and she’s calling for its enforcement.
Sophie also states in her documents that she’ll file her case in a U.K. court as well, claiming Joe’s refusal to return the children home to England “is a breach of the Mother’s rights of custody under English law, England being the children’s habitual residence.”
In her court documents, Sophie also claims she found out about the divorce through the media.
Sept. 21 — Joe shares his side of things
In response to Sophie’s lawsuit, Joe refuted her claims that she found out about the divorce through the media.
“After multiple conversations with Sophie, Joe initiated divorce proceedings in Florida, as Florida is the appropriate jurisdiction for the case,” reads a statement from Joe’s rep, obtained by ET. “Sophie was aware that Joe was going to file for divorce. The Florida Court has already entered an order that restricts both parents from relocating the children. Sophie was served with this order on September 6, 2023, more than two weeks ago.”
Joe’s statement also takes aim at the legal language used in Sophie’s filing.
“This is an unfortunate legal disagreement about a marriage that is sadly ending,” it reads. “When language like ‘abduction’ is used, it is misleading at best, and a serious abuse of the legal system at worst. The children were not abducted. After being in Joe’s care for the past three months at the agreement of both parties, the children are currently with their mother. Sophie is making this claim only to move the divorce proceedings to the UK and to remove the children from the U.S. permanently.”
As for their meeting to discuss the separation, Joe says in a statement that he and Sophie “had a cordial meeting this past Sunday in New York, when Sophie came to New York to be with the kids.”
“They have been with her since that meeting. Joe’s impression of the meeting was that they had reached an understanding that they would work together towards an amicable co-parenting setup,” the statement continues. “Less than 24 hours later, Sophie advised that she wanted to take the children permanently to the UK. Thereafter, she demanded via this filing that Joe hand over the children’s passports so that she could take them out of the country immediately. If he complies, Joe will be in violation of the Florida Court order.”
The statement goes on to say that Joe is “seeking shared parenting with the kids so that they are raised by both their mother and father, and is of course also okay with the kids being raised both in the U.S. and the UK.” The statement adds, “The children were born in the U.S. and have spent the vast majority of their lives in the U.S. They are American citizens.”
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