Intense Child Custody Disputes are Rarely About the Best Interests of the Child


October 4 , 2014

Source: socialworkhelper 

Child custody disputes are rarely about the best interest of the child, and the stories are all too common. A parent is reported to have abducted their child as part of a long-standing custody and access dispute. Indeed, a quick Google search reveals almost 500,000 hits for the term parental abduction.The term parent alienation yielded over 1 million hits.

PAS_Parental-alienation

For the children, these battles between parents can be scary, particularly when they involve some form of abduction. They are being taken away from a parent who loves them by a parent who also professes the same thing. How can this be? But the abduction is rarely a unique event in the lives of children. They typically have faced years of conflict between parents. The list of what children are exposed too is long:

parental child abduction 300x170 Intense Child Custody Disputes are Rarely About the Best Interests of the Child• Parents yelling at each other;
• Arguments in public at custody exchange places;
• Put downs of the other parent;
• Denial of financial support as a means of getting back at a parent;
• Refusal to allow a child to bring favourite toys or clothes to a visit;
• Efforts to get the child to take sides.

It doesn’t take much imagination to come up with a variety of other ways that parents seek to get back at each other. Too often, courts become part of the toolbox used by an angry parent. Anyone who has worked in this area can tell stories of a parent (too often representing themselves in court) filing petition after petition against the other parent. There are also the tragic cases where a parent kills the child. Here in Alberta, we recently saw the death of 9-year-old Amber Lucius. It is believed that her mother killed her. The media reports a six-year custody battle.

Courts are typically more focused on parents who can manage to get along or at least will honour the orders of the courts. They are not as effective with cases where the parent simply ignores the court orders. While this will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, there is no doubt that the defiant parent will have created much havoc before the court holds that parent to task. Many will never get held accountable as the other parent just gives up – they can’t manage the battle any longer or they are out of money to defend themselves in court.

Child protection systems are often reluctant to get involved. They feels that a competent justice system is in place through family and divorce courts. Yet, these more extreme cases carry on creating damage to the child. A study just published in the journal Development and Psychopathology researchers Raver, Blair and Garrett-Peters showed that children who are exposed to verbal and physical aggression between parents have long term negative effects which include the ability to identify and regulate emotions. In other words, they suffer from a form of emotional abuse. Conflict between parents warring over custody and access can fit this description.

Child protection should get involved in these cases. They can bring another force of control against the non-compliant parent. In more extreme cases that might lead to more intrusive arrangements by child protection where a child is removed to kinship or foster care. These child custody disputes, while under the guise of the best interests of the child, are far from it. Society needs to be willing to protect the child and child protection may need to be one way to do that when other court based interventions fail.

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Parents urge Clinton to press Japan to take action on child abductions


July 9, 2012

Source: Japantoday

TOKYO —

About 50 foreign and Japanese parents held a rally in Tokyo’s Ginza area on Sunday, urging visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to call on Japan to ratify The Hague treaty on the issue of child abductions in child-custody disputes.

Although Clinton was not in the vicinity, the group held up signs asking her to press the Noda administration to ratify The Hague treaty and stop child abductions.

In March, the Japanese government submitted a bill to endorse the 1980 Hague Convention on International Child Abduction but there have been no deliberations in the Diet yet, nor has any schedule been set.

The issue has been a long-time source of tension between Japan and many other countries.

Western nations have voiced concern for years over citizens’ struggles to see their half-Japanese children. When international marriages break up, Japanese courts virtually never grant custody to foreign parents, especially men.

Japanese critics of The Hague treaty often charge that women and children need protection from abusive foreign men. Japanese lawmakers are considering making exceptions to the return of children if there are fears of abuse.

If Tokyo ratifies the convention, it would only apply in the future and not to any ongoing cases in which foreign parents are seeking children in Japan.

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Hundreds of children involved in bitter custody battles are being abducted and taken abroad


Source: Daily mail

Hundreds of children involved in bitter custody battles are being abducted and taken abroad, a report revealed yesterday.

Immigration and the rising number of families where at least one parent has links to another country are behind a fast-rising number of international disputes.

In 2007 there were 27 children caught up in such cases but this is expected to rise to 240 this year.

65 per cent of children born in London in 2010 have one foreign parent. It is when these couples split that messy custody battles, across different countries can take place

The leap comes despite the introduction by Tony Blair of child passports. Labour said that making every child have its own travel document would stop parents taking children abroad in defiance of court orders.

The figures emerged in a report by Lord Justice Thorpe, chief of the Office of the Head of International Family Justice. The body was set up in 2005 to try to ensure that courts in Britain and abroad work together when one parent flees with a child either from or to Britain.

The Appeal judge said: ‘Sixty-five per cent of children born in London in 2010 had a least one foreign parent. These figures illustrate the potential for significant future growth in international family litigation.’

The report is by Lord Justice Thorpe, who heads up the Office of International Family JusticeThe report is by Lord Justice Thorpe, who heads up the Office of International Family Justice

He added: ‘The tendency of dangerous parents to bolt when social services are exercising legitimate protective powers is all too common.’

In Europe most cases involve children taken to or from Germany and Poland, the report said. It cited one case in which two Polish children were taken from their home and brought to England by their father and uncle.

Within four days of their arrival they were taken into police protection having been found in a makeshift shelter near live train tracks.

The report said communications between English and Polish social workers had broken down, and ‘it was proving difficult to establish who had jurisdiction in the matter, whether the children should be returned to Poland and under what conditions’.

It added: ‘We are seeing a rising number of these types of cases, mostly involving Eastern European countries.’

The report said Lord Justice Thorpe’s organisation tries to act as a ‘help desk for judges and lawyers at home and abroad who have seen their cases stalled and delayed because two countries’ legal systems are involved and when international conventions guaranteeing children’s rights are being flouted by overseas courts’.

Italy and Poland have no judge that British authorities can talk to. The report also complained of difficulties dealing with courts in India, Egypt and Mexico. However it praised swift communications with judges in Germany, Australia, Nigeria and the U.S.

Yesterday’s figures show the main effect of child passports has been to bring in big fees for the Treasury. A child passport costs £49.

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Florida Divorce and Custody Disputes that Lead to Parental Abduction: What To Do To Recover Your Child


Source: Jacksonville Divorce Lawyer Blog

In a Florida family law case involving children, such as divorce, paternity, or change of custody, emotions can run rather high.

Unfortunately, stress often surrounds these experiences and the consequences of the stress, if not handled properly, can lead to horrible actions by one parent. A parent who feels their world is caving in may turn to extreme acts, like abducting their child. Florida law has accepted, like most states, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) which rules that initial child custody determinations should be made by the child’s home state.

A child’s home state is the state in which a child has lived with a parent or guardian for at least six (6) months. It also determines that if a parent, in fact takes a child, the child should be returned to the home state unless an emergency lead to the fleeing (e.g. physical abuse of the parent and/or child by the other parent).
The UCCJEA allows for protection of the parents and the child by providing for legal action to be taken if a parent were to abduct the child. In the United States, there are numbers cases of parent abduction each year and having a protection like the UCCJEA is vital to recovering the children. What it allows is for the nonoffending party to file a petition with the court for an emergency child pick-up. The petition must state the actions of the other parent and give a place where the parent and child are most likely located. Once an order is entered in the home state of the child, like Florida, then the order must be adopted by the state where the child is physically located. Once the order is adopted, it is enforceable against the parent with the child and the parent is required to return the child to the home state. If the offending parent refuses or fails to do so, then the parent may be charged with kidnapping, not to mention the impact that parent’s actions will have on any custody dispute pending in the court.


In Florida, there are many individuals that moved from other countries and as a family law attorney, I often have clients concerned that the other parent will return to his/her country with the child. If a child is taken, without consent of both parents, to a different country, then the Hague Convention on International Kidnapping and Child Custody will have to be employed. The countries that have adopted this action often work diligently at having the child returned to the United States. However, not all countries have adopted the Hague Convention, which can lead to additional jurisdictional issues. A passport for a child requires both parents to consent by signing the application; if this is a concern of yours then you should deny the child getting a passport.
Child abduction is a serious matter and having an understanding for your rights and what actions can be taken to protect you and your child are vital in any type of case. If you have experienced a child custody battle or abduction, then you should speak with a family law attorney in your area for immediate assistance.

Follow our updates on Twitter and Facebook

One key to ABP World Group`s successful recovery and re-unification of your loved one is to use all necessary means available

Contact us here: Mail

Join the Facebook Group: International Parental Child Abduction

NOTE: We are always available 24/7

U.S Phone Number: (646) 502-7443

UK Phone Number: 020 3239 0013 –

Or you can call our 24h Emergency phone number: +47 45504271