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When an international ex doesn't respect a child custody order

There are numerous benefits that come along with a multicultural household. Children not only learn about the United States and being an American by living and going to school in Lancaster, but they can also learn about their other parent's culture by using their parent's first language, visiting their parent's home country and staying in contact with family members abroad. When multicultural couples break up, however, those benefits need not be lost. As long as both parents respect the Lancaster County judge's child custody order, the children can continue to reap the benefit of having diverse parents.

Unfortunately, not all parents do respect the order, taking their children abroad and trying to raise them in their home countries. This kind of parental abduction is, sadly, not that rare, with 7,000 children being taken between 2008 and 2012 alone. What's more, the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, the international agreement on child abduction, is not always followed.

Take, for example, the story of a man who lost his two children. The Marine veteran had been fighting in Iraq when his wife started to have an affair. Ultimately, she told him she wanted a divorce after his return.

During the divorce process, she and the Marine were both awarded joint custody, yet the children's mother obtained illegal passports of the children and she took them to Japan. That was seven years ago and the father still has not had his children returned to him. Though Japan has recently signed the Hague Convention, it only covers new custody disagreements, not those that are already in process. It remains to be seen when the Marine will be able to spend time with his children again.

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

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