It’s no secret that we live in politically divisive times. On the many issues facing the United States today, lawmakers in Washington, DC seem to disagree about almost everything. Democrats and Republicans appear bent on obstructing the other party’s initiatives, causing gridlock and mutual resentment—not to mention raising the specter of another government shutdown.
All of this makes a recent bipartisan Senate resolution seem rather extraordinary. The measure, introduced by Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), earned support from a coalition of Senators including Mitch McConnell (R-KY), John Cornyn (R-TX), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Marco Rubio (R-FL).
The issue that united these divergent lawmakers? International parental child abduction.
In an increasingly globalized world, abduction is a tragic and potentially traumatic consequence of disagreements between parents of different national origins. The Department of State estimates that between 2008 and 2015, “more than 9,000 American children were taken abroad by a parent to obstruct their (usually) former spouse from seeing their child.”
It’s an issue that can splinter families and leave behind deep emotional scars. And it not only affects children, but parents and other relatives as well. According to a press release from Sen. Tillis’ office:
“International child abduction has devastating long-term impacts on both the children and their left-behind parents. Research shows that an abducted child is at risk of significant short- and long-term problems, including anxiety, eating problems, nightmares, mood swings, sleep disturbances, and aggressive behavior. Their left-behind parents face similar struggles.”
To address the issue, the resolution would designate April 2019 as “Countering International Parental Child Abduction” month. The measure would also “[instruct] the federal government to educate state and local law enforcement about the issue and how to combat it.”
Read the full resolution here.
The attorneys of Offit Kurman’s Family Law Practice Group have successfully represented parents in numerous cases involving international child abduction. Our collective experience comprises disputes in state, federal, and international courts. Visit the Offit Kurman blog to read how Ronald Ogens obtained a $3,100,000 verdict in favor of a divorced parent who had not seen his son for approximately 25 years.
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ABOUT CHERYL L. HEPFER
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Cheryl Hepfer is a highly-regarded attorney who has practiced family law for more than 40 years. She has been rated by her peers and is listed in Best Lawyers in America and as a top lawyer in the Washingtonian, Bethesda Magazine, and Super Lawyers. She is past president of both the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the International Academy of Family Lawyers.
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As a family law attorney, Sandra (Sandy) Brooks’ practice focuses on a wide range of aspects in regards to family law. She dedicates her time to assisting clients in domestic law matters including divorce, child custody and visitation, family mediation, spousal and child support, property division, and division of retirement benefits. Other matters that fall under her jurisdiction as a family law attorney include tax consequences of divorce, mediation, prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements, negotiating and drafting of separation agreements, domestic litigation, and post-judgment proceedings.
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