International Family Law: A Modest Proposal

Recently the news has been peppered with stories about men and women who have citizenship in different countries taking their children back to their home countries against the wishes of their former spouses. Sometimes the children are taken against the custody agreement determined by the court.  The result is the parent without the children usually has no legal standing in their former spouse’s country to get the children returned. What can be done about this?

The problem is that most countries do not honor the judgments of the country where the divorce was granted. The result is a kind of “legal kidnapping.” If a parent doesn’t like the decision of a U.S.A. divorce decree regarding the kids, the solution is simple, just take the kids and flee to your home country.

I think there is a simple solution to the problem, namely that all countries decide to honor the decrees of the country where the couple was divorced. This agreement does not require any country to violate their sovereignty as it protects divorces granted in their own country from the same problem.

If that solution is too complicated, then perhaps the United Nations could say that divorces must be granted in the country where the marriage was granted. This alternative solution would bring the matter full circle and would support national and cultural values more explicitly.

The bottom line is something needs to be done about this particular problem. Children of divorce have already suffered enough. They shouldn’t be part of an international fugitive problem. I can only hope that the leaders of other countries might agree. Lovely party that is held by essay creator online to take college article.

Stephen Vantassel is tutor of theology at King’s Evangelical Divinity School

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