Child Custody Fights in Japan

You’ll want to read this description from Asahi.com of some of the custody fights rolling through the courts in Japan. Here’s one of the descriptions from the article:

A 34-year-old mother of two, whose children are in elementary school, left home without them two years ago and went to her parents’ house when she could no longer endure her husband’s violence and infidelity. But the move backfired. By the time the couple and their respective parents met two weeks later to discuss the situation, her husband’s mother had quit her job, moved into the couple’s home and was taking care of the children. Although the woman’s parents begged them to let her raise the children, the husband’s mother refused, saying, “She has no right to do that because she left without them in the first place.”

Her only option was to apply for court mediation in a bid to get her kids back. Although the court initially sided with her, her husband’s side immediately appealed and won.

To her astonishment, she later learned the family court had been handed a video of her sons saying: “Mom is not our mother. Our real mother is our grandma.”

“Young children just wouldn’t say such a thing. It’s really upsetting,” she says.

The difficulty with stories like this, of course, is that we’re hearing only one side. And as any seasoned divorce lawyer can tell you, there’s always another side, sometimes a different side that sounds so distinct you wouldn’t know you were talking about the same case unless you recognized the name.

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