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In Violation of Custody Ruling, Mother Allegedly Steals Son to Japan

A mother from Seattle has recently been accused of fleeing to Japan with her son in contradiction to a Washington state district court child custody ruling. The state court barred the fleeing mother to take her son out of state because the court had awarded primary custody to boy's father. Prosecutors believe the mother has taken the boy to Japan and does not plan to return.

The couple filed for divorce in 2007 and the father received temporary custody of the boy. Having concern that his former wife may take their son who has dual United States and Japanese citizenship to Japan, the father contacted the Japanese consulate in Portland, Oregon to ask that any passport request on behalf of the child be denied. In June 2008, a parenting plan was finalized that outlined the father as the primary custodian and restricted the boy's mother from taking the boy out of state for two years.

Nearly two years passed without incident. In May, the mother purchased two tickets to Japan with the departure date of July 11. Investigators were informed by a friend of the mother's that she had been excited to see the travel restrictions end so that she could take her son on a trip to Japan. The day after the mother purchased the plane tickets, the father requested a temporary extension of the travel restriction order that was effective on the date the mother left the United States with the boy.

During the time the decision for the request was being made, the mother made a request for a passport for the child and rescheduled the Japanese departure for June 23. The mother and child departed to Tokyo on June 23 and have remained there in violation of the child custody ruling. Prosecutors have filed the charge of custodial interference against the mother.

Source: seattlepi.com, "Bellevue Mother Accused of Stealing Son to Japan," Levi Pulkkinen, 10/28/10

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