That word hurts.
In the ideal world, a child doesn’t know that word. In today’s world (arguably the exact opposite of ideal), a child not only knows that word but knows many friends with divorced parents, including his own. Actually, my friends and I get excited when we hear about someone’s parents still together. You can literally hear us exclaiming something like, “WOW. How did that happen??” Parents staying together “in good times and in bad” and “in sickness and in health” is a rarity.
According to the enrichment journal on the current divorce rate in America, first marriages fail 50 percent of the time; second marriages fail 60 percent; and third marriages fail 73 percent. Only ten years ago, the U.S. Bureau of Census reported a 40 percent failure of first marriages.
If being apart is more common than staying together, child custody battles are bound to be everywhere.
As a teacher, I’ve seen more than several cases. I would hope for a situation where both parents would walk into a conference and things would go smoothly, as both want the best for their child. And in some circumstances, this would be the case. Excellent. A smooth meeting.
And then the other scene would take place: Mom accuses Dad of hiding things; Dad accuses Mom of lying to the child. If anything went awry, fingers were pointed. My heart always went to the sweet child caught in the middle.
Sorrowfully, this may be the least of child custody complications.
Parental kidnapping occurs more often than reported. According to Lost Children, more than 350,000 family abductions occur in the U.S. each year – that is nearly 1,000 per day!
Recently, an American dad was in the news. Why? His ex-wife took their two children to her home country, Japan. Not on a visit to see family. She fled the United States with the kids.
Need some history on this couple? Here’s the breakdown: Christopher and Noriko were married for 14 years. They lived in Japan for a while but moved back to the United States before the divorce. She agreed during the divorce to remain in the United States. She didn’t. The courts then gave sole custody to Christopher.
What’s a father to do? Forget about it, not deal with it, and never see his children again? Let the mother do whatever she wants? Let her get away with kidnap?
No. He went to be a father. He went to make things right. Easy enough, yeah? No. Japan still recognizes the mother as the sole custodian.
Christopher abducted the children as they were on their way to school.
Pause. I am NOT saying it’s okay to kidnap children – even your own. Children are traumatized enough as it is. However…(nah, I’ll wait for that. Back to our story.)
Christopher ended up getting caught, seconds away from the front gate of the U.S. consulate’s office. Ouch. He’s currently in jail for child abduction in Japan.
Now, where was I? Yes. However…
Shouldn’t certain things be understood between nations, like custody, for example? Different nations have different rules. I understand that some things are different…steal an apple here? Not a big problem. Steal an apple somewhere else? Could be a big problem. But children’s rights? Kidnap? I’m thinking that should be a lot closer to universal. Why isn’t it? Last time I checked, children are humans….and they have rights. So, this case could be argued as a human rights case.
And if divorce rates are rising, shouldn’t our concern for parental kidnapping rise as well?
Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service