The American father who has fought an international custody dispute for five years is hoping to return home from Brazil with his child.

The Brazilian Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that nine-year-old Sean Goldman must be returned to his father, David Goldman.

In 2004, Goldman's then-wife, Bruna Bianchi, took the child to her native Brazil for what she said was a vacation.  While in Brazil, she divorced Goldman and married a prominent lawyer.  She died in childbirth last year, and Sean's relatives in Brazil have refused to hand him over to his father.

U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg, of Goldman's home state of New Jersey, had blocked a bill to extend billions of dollars in trade benefits to Brazil.  But he lifted his opposition to the legislation after Tuesday's Supreme Court ruling, and it passed in the Senate.  

The case reached the highest level of both governments, when U.S. President Barack Obama met at the White House in March with his Brazilian counterpart, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.  U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has appealed for the boy's return.

U.S. Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey is in Brazil with Goldman.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.