Child custody disputes can be quite contentious -- especially when one parent lives here in the United States and the other is a national in another country.
"Other dads might just be a dad, but he's more than a dad," is what one 11-year-old recently said in a news interview regarding how his father fought for years to regain custody of him after his mother abducted him in 2004. Now, the father does have child custody of the boy.
International child abductions by parents are on the rise. For last year alone it was reported that 1,500 children were unlawfully taking from one of their parents and transported to a foreign country by their other parent.
As previously reported on this blog, Japan ranks very high in terms of international abductions. In fact, the U.S. State Department reports that since 1994 a total of 321 children have been abducted or moved to Japan without both parent's permission. Of those 321 children, none have been returned.
A mother who broke a custodial agreement and moved her children out of the country has been ordered to pay the father $6.1 million in damages. And while this does not mean that the children - ages 8 and 10 - will be reunited with their father in the U.S., the father's attorney is hopeful that it may be a step in the right direction with more pressure from Japanese officials for the mother to do the right thing.
A Florida man is fighting to get custody of his ailing 2-year old ailing daughter who was taken to Syria without his consent. Fuat Kircaali, a 51-year old United States citizen, has spent more than a year in a nasty custody battle across various states and three different countries.
The Hague Convention on the Prevention of Child Abduction has been put into action by 84 countries in an effort to encourage the safe return of children who have been abducted and taken into other countries. And while many counties are in full agreement that a parent should not be able to just take their child away from another parent and live in another country, Japan is yet to agree and sign the Hague Convention.
A Missouri father has been fighting to get his 2-year-old daughter back since 2009 when the girl's mother abducted the little girl and moved to Costa Rica. And even though both the Missouri courts and Costa Rican courts have ruled in favor of the father having child custody, the little girl is yet to be returned home.