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Child custody battle leads to international abduction

When Texas parents divorce, they have to think of the best interests of the child. Having two parents is almost always more advantageous than having just one. However, some child custody battles get out of control because one parent wants more time with the child than the court will allow. This can cause a parent to kidnap the child and leave the state - or even the country - in order to attain full custody. This recently happened to a child in the state of Washington.

The 5-year-old boy from Kirkland, Washington, is in the midst of a custody battle between his two estranged parents. The court ordered that the parents get permission before traveling internationally with the boy. However, the request has fallen on deaf ears. The mother has left the country and fled to Japan with her son.

When the couple divorced in 2012, the 48-year-old mother requested to take the boy to Japan. The court denied the request; however, in July 2013, the woman sent an email to the boy's father telling him that she and the boy are in Osaka, Japan.

But from what detectives have gathered, the trip is not simply a vacation getaway. Detectives saw that the woman's home was empty, suggesting she moved her belongings to Japan to live there with the boy permanently. Another red flag was that the woman bought one-way tickets, so a return to the United States is not likely in the near future.

Because the woman does not have full custody of the child, she could be charged with international abduction. Kidnapping a child - even a person's own child - is a federal crime. The woman can potentially face felony charges for what she did. The father will need the help of his legal team, the court and federal agencies working in tandem with Japanese officials in order to get his child back.


Source: 
Japan Daily Press, "Mother of 5-year old flees to Japan to assert child custody" Faith Aquino, Sep. 20, 2013

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