New Zealand case

April 12, 2013

Custody battle turns nasty between Kiwi and Japanese wife
Posted on April 8, 2013 – 9:52am | Category: Local News

By Marc Neil – Jones
Custody battles can deeply affect children and a failed marriage in Vanuatu is turning nasty with police charges of child kidnap at the centre of a battle between a New Zealand male and his Japanese wife in Santo.

Any expatriate couple with kids living in a foreign country goes through the turmoil of child separation in a split up but it is particularly a concern when it involves a Japanese national and children as Japan is not a signatory to the 1980 Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction which obliges signatories to promptly return abducted children to their country of habitual residence.

Critics of the Japanese legal system say this refusal has the practical effect of facilitating international child abduction. The issue has become a cause for significant concern to signatory nations, the majority of which are Western countries. Japanese family law considers issues of divorce custody, child support or alimony as predominantly private matters. Consequently, Japan has no enforcement mechanism to enforce foreign custody rulings or recommendations made by its own domestic courts. Furthermore, Japan does not recognise joint parental authority or shared “residence” after divorce.
This in effect means a Japanese mother taking her children to Japan in defiance of visitation or joint custody orders issued by Western courts will have no action taken by the Japanese courts. A father wanting to see his children needs the wife’s permission and if this is not given can have devastating consequences for parents if they cannot see their children again.

Paul Dalley, aged 39, a New Zealand businessman running a seaplane business in Santo, has filed a police complaint with evidence including emails, bank transfers, and airline tickets that Santo police have now acted upon alleging that his wife Yuka Dalley and a Japanese businessman working for Unelco living in New Caledonia had allegedly conspired to kidnap their two children aged 10 months and three years to remove them from Vanuatu over to Japan so he would not be able to see them again.

Dalley states he managed to get the three year old girl to a safe place with Ni Vanuatu friends before contacting the police. The alleged kidnapping attempt was foiled by Dalley working with Santo police who travelled to Vila to arrest her with the youngest child at the Melanesian Hotel which is owned by Japanese and where she was allegedly staying under an assumed name waiting for Unelco consultant Toshida Yasuda from New Caledonia who Dalley alleges is also implicated.

Dalley advised Daily Post that his wife Yuka Dalley has now been reportedly charged with kidnap and police want to interview Toshida Yasuda who is alleged to be in Port Vila.

The Japanese woman has also charged her husband with Intentional Assault and Threatening Behaviour.

Police are still investigating the case and a court date is yet to be set.

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