Bergen County father involved in international custody dispute

Readers in New Jersey have likely heard of parents violating child custody agreements. It may come as a surprise to readers, however, to learn that cases where a parent who does not have sole custody or permission from the other parent takes their children to another country are very common. It can be difficult to reach a resolution in these cases because other countries do not have to recognize or enforce U.S. court orders.

A father in Bergen County reportedly claims that his ex-wife violated their child custody agreement seven years ago when she took their two children and fled to Japan with her new boyfriend. He has not seen his children since. According to reports, the man suggests his former wife took the children without his permission and despite the fact that the family law judge had ordered them to surrender the children’s passports.

Since their purported abduction, the man has made little progress in trying to get his son and daughter back. As a separate country from the U.S., Japan is not subject to the same laws and therefore enforcing a child custody order from the U.S. or cooperating with the parent to resolve the dispute is not necessary.

While an attorney cannot guarantee a favorable outcome in all child custody disputes, it may be of benefit to have legal representation, especially if your child’s other parent violates your agreement. A lawyer will be able to offer advice as how best to proceed in your situation, as well as answer any questions that you may have.

Source:, “Bill may help ‘left-behind parents’ in global child custody fights,” Herb Jackson, Dec. 11, 2013