Archive for November 2012

Another victim…

3 November 2012

Yumi Cossio was caught at Montreal’s Pierre-Elliot Trudeau Airport trying to leave Canada with her daughter (story in French). She was formally accused of attempted child abduction.

I know nothing about Yumi, nor do I know why she suddenly left the father of her child. She might have had good reasons, but then again she might not have any more reason that a whimsical change of heart.

What I do know is this. In Japan, the first parent to snatch the child gets custody. In 90% of divorces, the woman leaves her husband and takes the children. Japan doesn’t recognize shared custody, nor does it enforce visitation rights of any kind.

This is bad for every one: it’s bad for the child obviously, it’s of course bad for the left-behind-parent, but it is also bad for the abducting parent. By legitimizing this behavior, Japanese family courts send the wrong message to parents thinking of divorce. They give moral sanction to immoral acts.

Japanese courts have basically told Yumi that it was OK for her to kidnap her daughter. The meaner side of me hopes she rots in jail. The better side of me, the one I want to cultivate, hopes she realizes her mistake, is let off with a suspended sentence, is permitted to stay in Canada.

I also urge her husband to never let her daughter travel to Japan, at least not until their daughter is seventeen or eighteen. If he’s got the money, then I strongly recommend that the father seeks out legal advice in Japan in order to secure his parental rights there. That will mean depriving Yumi of all parental rights in Japan.

Once he is safe, I would urge the father to be generous and considerate with regards to the relationship between his daughter and her mother.

I consider Yumi another victim of Japan’s regressive family laws. Fortunately, things turned out well and Yumi will be forced to deal with her problems. I hope this case is widely publicized in Japan: that would send the correct message.

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