Japan court allows family reunion in U.S. after int’l divorce

Posted on May 28, 2011. Filed under: Child Abduction, Child Custody and Visitation, Divorce | Tags: , , , , , |

Saturday 28th May, 06:00 AM JST      KOBE —

A Japanese court has ruled that a Nicaraguan man in the United States can meet with his separated child from Japan for temporary family reunions, a rare decision in an international divorce dispute, attorneys involved in the matter said Friday.

The Itami branch of the Kobe Family Court handed down the judgment March 14, which both the father and mother appealed to the Osaka High Court.

The family court judged that the man’s former Japanese wife, who took their child to Japan after the divorce, must allow the father to meet the 8-year-old child for about 30 days in the United States each year through August 2017.

The court also ordered the woman to have the father and child meet in Japan for about two weeks every year during the period and stay in touch by web camera and telephone.

‘‘It will make the child happier when becoming familiar with the language and culture of the father’’ said Judge Nobuyoshi Asami in the judgment.

But the court rejected the claim by the father to take back the child from his former wife and transferred custody of the child to her, saying the child has become accustomed to life in Japan.

Details about the family such as names, ages and sex of the child were not disclosed.

The woman’s attorney said, ‘‘I appreciate that the court approved the transfer of custody but I’m worried that the high frequency of required meetings and telephone calls could be a burden to the child.’’


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4 Responses to “Japan court allows family reunion in U.S. after int’l divorce”

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I hope this a breakthrough case for all left behind parents with kids in Japan. I hope the court start looking at the evidence, following the law, and doing the right thing. I am sure this was not the ruling this man was hoping for but he will get 30 days of visitation in the US plus phone calls plus time in Japan. That is a lot more than many LBP’s get now.

I am the nicaraguan father of the published story and I have to tell some facts that were not mentioned in the story. First of all, my US divorce judgment fulfills all the requirements for full recognition and enforcement according to the Japanese Civil Code. Second, I spent nearly 250,000 USD in legal fees in both countries, including also travel to Japan (8) times in total. I had full legal custody in both countries ratified up to the Tokyo Supreme Court. However, I was able to see my child only twice. In spite of this, the family court in Kobe decided to change custody to the Japanese mother for the “excuse” that the child had been living in Japan. However, this story doesn’t mention that the child was illegaly abducted against US court orders, and that the Japanese mother has been found in contempt in US courts. I am fluent in three languages (English, Japanese and Spanish) so my child really doesn’t have to adjust to my language and culture as she was fully trilingual when she was abducted to Japan. The last comment is that this judgment lacks any enforcement in Japan and that the Japanese mother refused the first scheduled visitation after the judgment was released, in spite of the Japanese judge asking her to allow the visitation for the well-being of the child. Because of violation of “comity” between the countries and lack of jurisdiction and enforcement of the court orders I decided to appeal, knowing that I will lose all contact to my beloved child anyway.

It scares me when any of my relatives marry someone from another country for exactly this reason.I have no problem with people of other races/religion/nationalities or whatever but unfortunatly some will have children then take them back to their country when they are ready to do so because they know that there is nothing we can do about it.I am sorry that you only have visitation and hopefully at least this will take place.I will be saying a prayer for you and your family.It is nice to see a man step up to the plate and want to be part of his childs life.My childrens father did not do that and I think women do not see how lucky they are when a man does.Your daughter will apprectiate everything you have done to be in her life when she is older.Dont give up and keep trying if nothing else at least so that she will know you tried

This Nicaraguan father got his daughter back. The mother was arrested in Hawaii on custodial interference. She was trying to renew her green card. She was put in jail until she agreed to return her daughter to America. The mother sat in jail for 8 months. The mothers parents returned the child (Karina) to America just before Christmas. It was a great moment for the father and daughter. Karina is doing well with her father. Karina has also spoken to her mother.

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