An Independence woman allegedly took her two children from their home in Mexico three years ago, and the father now is suing to have the girls returned to Mexico to determine custody there.

In the lawsuit, filed this week in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mexican citizen Gustavo Vazquez alleges that Tara Lawson violated the international child abduction act known as the Hague Convention when in November 2015 she left Mexico one day with their daughters, now ages 7 and 3, while he was at work, abducting them without his permission

A federal judge has set hearing for next Thursday, and Lawson has been ordered to appear with the two girls. If she or anyone else takes the children from outside of the court's western Missouri jurisdiction, “severe sanctions may be imposed” such as arrest and jail time for contempt of court.

Vazquez was charged with domestic battery in 2013, according to Johnson (Kansas) County court records, pleaded guilty in 2014 and was sentenced to one day in jail.

According to the lawsuit, Vazquez and Lawson's younger daughter was born later in 2014 while they were living together in Mexico. Their older daughter was born in 2010 in Kansas City, Kan.

In November 2015, according to the suit, the family went to Chuck E. Cheese in Mexico City for the younger daughter's first birthday celebration, and Vazquez then went to work while Lawson and girls returned home. He stayed that night and, after conferring with Lawson, another night for work. But when he returned home she and the girls had moved out.

Vazquez filed a missing person report and later saw Lawson had posted a Facebook message about returning home to the Kansas City area.

Lawson did not return a Facebook message seeking comment.