Picture: Illinois Fathers All of us have been there: you learn from your kids that ex was in a business trip somewhere. You would gladly have taken care of them but the baby sitter or someone else did, because ex is by law in charge and in the business of making sure that you will not your kids more than your divorce agreement says you will, that is every other weekend and perhaps an afternoon the week without the weekend with them.
On May 22 of this year, both Illinois houses attempted to stop this sad state of affairs by passing HB 2992. Hopefully Illinois’s example will be followed by other States, if Pat Quinn, the Governor of Illinois, signs the bill to be included as section 602.3 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. What is the right of first refusal? If ex needs to go, you are by law the first to be on with the kids.
She has 24 hours to let you know that you can watch the kids when she is absent, and you have 24 hours to let her know whether you can do it or not. Common sense in “the best interest of the child,” for once. The fathers’ right movement has to reinvent the wheel to amend decades of biased legislation. However we all know that there is the law and there is the enforcement of the law, and these are two different things as far as family laws are concerned.
But let us not spoil our pleasure at this stage… Hat Tip: American Coalition for Fathers and Children, May 29 2013 Newsletter Read Full Post »See Also: Coldwell Banker First Realtors
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Parents deprived of their children held a rally Friday to push for introducing joint custody to the Japanese legal system and to raise awareness of the plight faced by their offspring when marriages fall apart. Marching through the Asakusa district in Tokyo’s Taito Ward, about 30 Japanese and foreign participants held up a multilingual banner reading, “Stop Parental Child Abduction!” Demonstrators also carried signs reading “More visitation time” and “Affection from both parents to children” during the hour-long march on Children’s Day.
It was the first rally organized by Kodomo no Kenri wo Mamoru Bekkyo Oya Forum (Forum for Left-Behind Parents Protecting Children’s Rights) to address the problem of parental child abduction in Japan. “I want people to know that children have the right to see both of their parents and that parents are responsible for accomplishing that,” said Daisuke Tanaka, the organizer of the event. Tanaka has been struggling to spend time with his daughter since his wife whisked her away in March 2016.
Since then, he has only been allowed to meet her twice a month for three hours at a time, he said. Other participants told The Japan Times similar stories. In most cases, a spouse abruptly leaves with the children before filing for divorce or custody rights. Tanaka said child abductions will only continue to fester unless Japan approves the concept of granting joint custody. “It’s usual for the court to give custody to the parent who lives with the child, and that’s why there are so many cases of abduction.
If there’s joint custody, better conversations and negotiations would likely take place,” he said. Michihiko Sugiyama, a lawyer who participated in the demonstration, said the biggest issue is that Japanese law only allows custody to be awarded to one parent. Once separated from his family, he decided to take part in the rally to share his experience. The civil code requires parents to decide on visitation and custody arrangements, but research shows people are increasingly forgoing such discussions and heading straight to court mediation.
In fiscal 2015, 12,264 cases of mediation involving visitation rights were accepted in family courts nationwide, almost double from 10 years earlier, according to court data. A group of lawmakers is drafting a bill to help divorced or separated parents see their children more easily, but the issue has yet to gain traction. Some are concerned that parents with a history of domestic violence are too dangerous to be granted visitation rights.
Rally participant Susumu Ishizuka, 48, claimed there must be better awareness of the issue because the current perception is that abandoned parents may have committed domestic abuse. “People who are against such a bill are linking left-behind parents with domestic violence too easily without sufficient understanding,” said Ishizuka, whose spouse ran off with his 5-year-old child three years ago.
Their divorce has not been finalized, but according to the court’s decision, he is only permitted to see his child for two hours every two months. “I can only meet my child in an appointed place, and I’m not allowed to give them presents. This is far from a parent-child relationship,” he said. A U.S. man seeking access to his daughter said Monday that the case is an opportunity for Japan to prove to the world it no longer tolerates parental child abduction.
U.S. Navy Cmdr. Paul Toland is suing the mother of his Japanese ex-wife for denying access to his 13-year-old daughter. His former wife left with the child in 2003, at the age of 9 months, after their marriage failed. The woman committed suicide four years later. Toland said his situation would amount to a “felony crime” in other countries with up-to-date family laws. “In Japan, this abduction by a nonparent is not only accepted, but it is condoned.
I’m the only parent in the world to (my daughter),” Toland said, who is in Japan for the first time since the trial at the Tokyo Family Court kicked off in July. Toland said if the case is resolved it would demonstrate to the world that Japan is turning over a new leaf after years of notoriety as a “safe haven” for parental child abduction. If his daughter is not returned to him, he said, it will only alienate the nation further.
Japan joined The Hague Convention on cross-border parental child kidnapping in 2014. The pact does not apply in Toland’s case because the abduction was within Japan — Toland’s family was based in Yokohama at the time. In addition to this, the convention cannot be applied retroactively. “How can we expect Japan to ever resolve more complicated divorce, child custody issues if it cannot even resolve this very straightforward case, which does not involve divorce and where one parent is deceased and the nonparent is withholding a child above the parent who wants to care for her?” he said.
The daughter has said in a statement submitted to the Tokyo Family Court that she does not wish to be reunited with her father, according to Akira Ueno, Toland’s lawyer. Given that the separation occurred when the girl was a baby, this suggests that her attitude was learned from others and that she is under a misapprehension of what her father is really like, Ueno said. “In cases this like, Japanese courts have immaturely decided that children shouldn’t be returned to parents, oblivious to the fact that they’re bound to suffer once becoming adults,” Ueno said.