One of the great things about Tampa is its diversity, and it is not at all uncommon for a local Tampa man or woman to be in a relationship with someone with a different citizenship. When the marriages don't work out, however, there are not only questions about how to divide parenting time, but also what kinds of international travel will be allowed. Since the foreign-born parent could potentially take the child and return to his or her home country, there needs to be very well-defined rules about travel.
Sometimes, however, those plans go out the window when the foreign-born parent abducts the child and refuses to return him or her. And when the child is taken to Japan, it is unknown if the American parent will ever see the child again.
Until this past June, Japan has been one of the few countries that had not signed the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, an international treaty that dictates how international child custody disputes should be handled. Until recently, it was expected that when parents divorced, one would stay out of the child's life. But will signing a treaty really bring about that much change?
There still hasn't been enough time to see if it will cause much change, but one thing is clear, Japan's approval of the Hague Convention will only apply to future cases of parental abduction. As for those cases that are still pending, it is unknown when or if they will ever be resolved.
International child custody and parenting time issues can certainly be difficult, which is why many divorcing parents turn to experienced family law lawyers for help.
Source: The Record, “Bill may help ‘left-behind parents’ in global child custody fights,” Herb Jackson, Dec. 11, 2013