New hope for parents with child custody issues

Any time two parents are at odds over where a child should live or about basic parenting decisions, the process of resolving those issues can be drawn out and complicated. When one parent involved in a child custody matter is in another country, the issue can be even more complex. For Pennsylvania parents who have an ongoing global custody problem ahead of them, there may be new hope for achieving an amicable resolution.

A new federal bill is being proposed to help parents who feel their hands are tied if one parent is overseas with the kids and will not grant them access. The bill would require that the president take steps to resolve these issues with countries that are involved. Some of these steps may include direct communications about the child custody matter or even sanctions against countries that demonstrate an unwillingness to help resolve these types of child custody and visitation issues.

The bill comes about as several high-profile cases of parental kidnapping across international borders have made the news. One case and a major push behind the bill involves a former Marine whose wife took his kids to Japan, never to return. She allegedly used falsified passports to take the kids without the father’s permission.

While cases of international child custody do pose unique challenges, the courts and the law of the land generally work to do what is in the best interests of the child involved. However, it can also be detrimental to a child and a parent to be denied access due to international law or lack of cooperation between governments. Any Pennsylvania parent in a similar situation may benefit from following the status of the federal bill or any other proposed law that could affect their case.

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