Imagine living in a country where parents with children are absolutely barred from leaving the country – even for a short vacation to visit relatives abroad.
Every reader surely cringes at the prospect of such a prohibition on two parents of an intact family traveling together with their common children.
So, are we imagining a third world country? An extremist regime?
Try democratic Israel.
And maybe, just maybe, where US policy may be heading regarding relocation (or routine travel) with children born of now-broken relationships – even to another state in this country.
In many states across the US, custodial parents today are finding it increasingly difficult to escape (either temporarily or permanently) the particular state where their divorce happened to have been entered, let alone the country.
Often, in practice, without any real regard to the circumstances imposed on the family in that particular state, the likely degree of risk of abduction or denial of access to children, or competing risks to the children and/or custodial parent. Certainly not without great expenditure of time and resources in the courts.
Does this policy serve the best interests of children?
The Hatikvah Foundation is fighting the prohibition in Israel. They are assembling an international panel of social workers and advocates of children’s and women’s rights to review and tackle the problem.
But what about here in the US?
Internationally, the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction already provides legal recourse in case of child abductions. Domestically in the US, there is legal recourse in the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act and a host of federal and state kidnapping and custodial interference statutes.
Is the “cure” growing worse than the disease?