One of the worst nightmares a Colorado divorce and family law attorney can face is when a parent abducts a child and absconds with it in the midst of divorce proceedings. Now, imagine that the abductor not only runs away with the kidnapped child, but manages to leave the country and make it to a place that refuses to extradite or return such children to the proper custodial parent?
This sort of thing happens more often than you might think, and one of the more common destinations for such parents is Japan, especially if the abducting parent is Japanese; the country tends legally to side with the Japanese parent, and refuses to extradite to the U.S. or to return children abducted by their Japanese parent.
Just such a scenario took place recently, with a child’s Japanese mother absconding with the boy to her native country despite U.S. court orders to return him to his father’s custody. The issue has now been resolved with a plea deal that will see the child (hopefully) returned to his father in the United States. It may be fortunate that the mother returned to the country to renew a permanent residency status, which enabled authorities to take her into custody. Without this happening, they may not have been able to resolve the situation at all.
International marriages carry with them all sorts of legal complications, and the implications of divorce proceedings to end an international marriage can be even stickier. This particular case is being hailed as one that could provide a blueprint for resolving ugly situations like this in the future, which would be a relief to family law attorneys and divorcees alike. It’s a case that has worldwide implications, and the drama has even been covered on Japanese television.