Articles

International pressure leading to change in Japanese family law

After her divorce, and against a court order, Noriko Savoie packed up her kids and moved them to Japan. For the children's father, Christopher, Japan is more than a continent away; it's beyond the reach of the Hague convention on international child abduction.

Following Noriko's return to Japan with her children, an American court ordered an arrest warrant for her. Since Japan is not a signatory to the Hague convention on international child abduction, the American court has been powerless to prompt the return of Noriko or the children to the United States.

Christopher did attempt to bring his children home to the United States, but he was arrested at the gates of the U.S. consulate and charged with child abduction. He was subsequently allowed to return the United States, without his children. Following this incident, a Tennessee court ordered Noriko to pay $1,000 to her ex-husband for every day that she falsely imprisons her children.

The Savoies' case has generated a lot of press, which, in turn, has led to more international pressure being applied on Japan to sign the Hague convention. According to CNN, Japan is feeling the weight of the pressure, and the Japanese Cabinet recently approved a plan to overhaul the country's laws in a way that would bring them "in line with the Hague convention". However, it could take years before Japan would be prepared to sign the convention.

Child custody issues involving international law are complicated; speak with a family law attorney with experience handling international family law disputes.

Since 1980 the AV-rated law firm of Hale Ball has served the legal needs of individuals and businesses. Our team of attorneys include lawyers named to Super Lawyer and Rising Star lists, as well as attorneys with advanced legal degrees, specialty certifications and lawyers who teach their areas of practice to other lawyers.

Use the contact form on this page to schedule a consultation, or call 703-591-4900.

The transmission and receipt of information contained on this website, in whole or in part, or communication with the Hale Ball via the Internet or e-mail through this website does not constitute or create a lawyer-client relationship between this firm and any recipient.

Our Office

10511 Judicial Dr
Fairfax, VA 22030

Let us fight for you

Schedule a Consultation

We will use the information you provide on this form to connect and schedule a consultation with you to go over your legal needs. The transmission and receipt of information contained on this website, in whole or in part, or communication with the Hale Ball via the Internet or e-mail through this website does not constitute or create a lawyer-client relationship between this firm and any recipient.

Hale Ball is committed to providing you with excellent service while protecting the health and safety of our clients and staff. We offer videoconferencing, conference calls and electronic communication, as well as traditional in-person consultations. We are taking precautions to maintain a healthy office environment. As events evolve concerning COVID-19, we will strive to provide outstanding service in a socially responsible manner. Please contact us if you have any concerns.

X