It may soon become easier for a parent whose child is abducted to Japan to secure their return.
Currently, if a child is taken to Japan by one parent, without the agreement of the other parent, the Japanese courts will not automatically order the child's return to the country which is their home. The Japanese parliament (the Diet), it is reported, will be considering a law which would dramatically change the country's position on child abduction.
A bill is to go before the Diet under which Japan would ratify The Hague Convention. This would mean that the Japanese courts must (subject to certain exceptions) order the return of a child, abducted to Japan , to the country of their habitual residence. The court of that country can then determine arrangements for that child, including where they should live.
Japan is currently the only G7 country not to have signed up to the Hague Convention on child abduction. This has made it very difficult for parents left behind to even have contact with their child if they have been taken to Japan.
As the world becomes smaller the numbers of international relationships is growing. As a result child abduction is becoming an increasing problem. We have experienced a significant increase in the number of cases which we are handling in this area.
It is important to take expert family law advice very quickly if you believe your child may be abducted from the UK or has been abducted to the UK. Similarly if you planning to travel or move with your child here or away from the UK you should take urgent advice as their are potential criminal sanctions.
The Pannone family department have a specialist team of child abduction lawyers who can provided advice on all these areas. Contact details can be found by clicking here.
We are a team of specialist family law solicitors in Manchester. For more divorce advice please read our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts
Vicki McLynn, Partner