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American man, Japanese wife settle dispute over son, 8

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sounds like a trap

0 ( +2 / -2 )

H'mmmmm hope this has a happy & not a sad ending!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Adhocmanager:

That is my feeling too. Once the boy is in Japan, the big end of the stick might come out. I hope I am wrong.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Funny. Here we have an American man who abducted his son off the cuff, and two people are pointing fingers at the Japanese mom before she even blinks an eye.

Boys and girls, can you say jingoism? How about chauvinism?

There are really no other reasons to expect a trap. Not saying its impossible, but your paranoia is disturbing, as is your lack of comment about the man. If anyone deserves feelings of mistrust here, its him.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Oracle:

" and two people are pointing fingers at the Japanese mom before she even blinks an eye. "

The issue is not that she is Japanese, this issue is that she brought the kid back to JAPAN. Japanese law is extremely one-sided in this regard, as you surely know.

If they had chosen to reconcile in another country, nobody would raise this worry.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

He will go from a legal forum with rational laws respecting the rights of both parents, to the Middle Ages, where he has absolutely no rights.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The issue is that HE chose to LEAVE Japan WilliB, the place he had already decided, with his wife, to live and raise his child in, or at least, traveled to to marry and impregnate her. Why you can't see that I suppose reduces the possibility of chauvinsim and increases the possibility of jingoism.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

As Admiral Akbar would say, ITS A TRAP

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

He will go from a legal forum with rational laws respecting the rights of both parents, to the Middle Ages, where he has absolutely no rights.

Exactly!! Middle ages=Stone Age=Feudalism=Dark Ages You get the feeling.....

If I was him, I would NOT bring the child to Japan. Anywhere but Japan. Once he gets here with his son, he'll get sucked right into the DRACONIAN VORTEX where he'll lose all parental rights, human rights and never get to see his son again.

I am NOT condoning the fact that he actually ABDUCTED the 8 year old, This man is as scum as those women/men that abduct children to here, but I wouldn't try to RECONCILE nowhere near Japan. IT'S A DEATH-TRAP!!! Guaranteed!!

3 ( +8 / -5 )

If Japan had signed the hague convention they could have used that.

But I agree with BlueWitch, once in Japan the mother can refuse all rights to the father and the courts will lock him out.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Article sez they are reconciling.

Lets hope it works out for everyone, at-least it looks like they won't let a court decide their future = always bad news for everyone involved.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Congrats to the Mueller family for coming to a mutual agreement for the sake of their son. This is a happy ending for both parents. Some of the above posts are very negative. Guys, stop the fear mongering and wish the family best wishes.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

He could had holdout and not worry about it, since Japan is not a signatory of the Hague Convention, haha.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

did someone cut and paste this article together? it's like a hodge podge of ideas.

lots of unanswered questions from this article. like how long had the father "abducted" his son? and why did the dad take the boy to china? that's bizarre.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The issue is not that she is Japanese, this issue is that she brought the kid back to JAPAN

The issue is that he took the kid to the US. (The article says China, but that was apparently just the first stop on the way back to America)

Hopefully they'll be able to sort out their differences and rehabilitate their marriage, or at the very least work out an amicable arrangement in the best interests of the boy.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Sorry, old mind is getting foggy.

Don't read anything in the article that the mother took the son back to japan, nor that she had access to him while he was abroad.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Why on earth is this in the news??

1 ( +2 / -1 )

IT''S ME

Amusingly, the article doesn't state that they brought the son back from China or the US.. But I assume the custody settlement wasn't for the son to remain with the man's parents =D

0 ( +0 / -0 )

TokyoTanuki.

Again, the article don't say anything about a reached custody settlement, just that the court-case/hearing has been abandoned in favour of a face-to-face settlement in japan that both parties agreed on.

Apart from that it gives few facts. Hence we got posters speculating here and making up their mind as to what happened and thus condemning some involved parties.

So lets drop the assumptions,pls, as they don't help anyone nor make people look intelligent when compared with the provided facts and data.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A little more background can be found here: http://www.wxyz.com/dpp/news/region/oakland_county/couple-involved-in-an-international-custody-fight-appear-in-court

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Laguna

Thx.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oracle: It's not chauvenism, nor is it finger pointing; people have merely said they are suspicious, and based on past examples of 'abduction' they have reason to be. One person even said s/he hopes s/he is wrong in regards to said suspicion. As you suggest THEY do not, I suggest YOU also do not jump the gun on what people are saying/thinking.

The man did indeed spirit the child away, and if Japan ever stops TALKING about ratifying the Hague Treaty on abduction and actually acts, there would be more grounds for the women to fight if the man for some reason decides to stay or run back to the US with child. As it is, with the multiple cases in which Japanese have done the same with their children (spiriting them away to Japan) nothing at all is done here from a legal standpoint except in some cases to ban the father from seeing the child, and if he comes close -- deporting him.

I hope they truly can reconcile, for the kid's sake if not also their own, but I have my doubts that if it did not work out before that it would work out this time. I picture a rather cold, hostile environment, which is not necessarily better for the kid. In any case, if things DON'T work out I hope the father can stay and work in Japan and gets visitation rights.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

All I can say is that he's a brave guy to come back to a situation where the mother holds all the cards.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Oracle,

Japans govt & its laws have given non-japanese many 100s perhaps thousands or cases, I mean reasons to be leary if their relationship to a Japanese is on the rocks.

Bottom line is if the J-spouse doesnt want to play fair, the non-J-spouse is outta luck, so I can understand why some might want to move parental desputes to a fairer jurisdiction.

Japan needs to fix its laws so NO parents feel the need to abduct their own kids!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

melguy: "All I can say is that he's a brave guy to come back to a situation where the mother holds all the cards."

In a nation where she can bar the father completely from seeing the boy. Had it been the reverse, and the mother (or parent, if you want to be gender neutral) gone to the US and found a place to live/work and demanded visitation rights, she could not be denied unless there was good reason.

As I stated previously, though, I hope they can resolve their differences and create a positive environment for both themselves and the child to live in, and if not I hope they can both agree to allow the other shared custody/visitation rights.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

rejoining his wife in Japan after they settled a custody dispute...........................

they SETTLED their differences ALREADY.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I truly and honestly doubt that neither he nor his lawyers are aware of the current situation in japan and how things can turn out. Some of you guys/gals are really selling the father, his lawyers, etc short.

Maybe a bit less bias?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

GWAug. 24, 2011 - 07:12PM JST

Japans govt & its laws have given non-japanese many 100s perhaps thousands or cases, I mean reasons to be leary if their relationship to a Japanese is on the rocks.

So a man can be excused for pre-emptively whisking away the kids to a foreign country??? Without even trying the legal system??? HELL....NO.

The solution was not live, marry and impregnate here. Once you have done those, you have made your bed, and if you don't sleep in it, you are a cheat. And if you are a cheat cheating your wife before she has a chance to cheat, then YOU are the problem. And that would have been the result of the court case and THAT is why he was willing to settle out of court. The court would taken those kids away from the cheat so fast his head would have spun. Not only the Japanese court, but the American would also flatly deny him custody for what he did.

Making this about the wife is sidk and twisted. If she totally refuses him visitation, he totally proved himself worthy of that punishment. This guy is another twit in the mold of Chris Savoie. He is not a poster child for the jingoism in this thread at all.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Oracle,

So a man can be excused for pre-emptively whisking away the kids to a foreign country??? Without even trying the legal system??? HELL....NO.

What do you think then of Japanese women who go to foreign countries to live and marry have kids and then run back to Japan (with the help of the Japanese government) therefore not allowing the fathers to see their kids. Or is that different?

The fact is that the Japanese system will always help the Japanese citizen over the foreigner so really who can blame the father in the light of such a biased one sided system.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

What do you think then of Japanese women...

I think you have not differentiated cases enough for me to answer. I don't know what you mean by "run back to Japan" for example. Does that mean not involving the authorities? Does that mean she does not have sole custody? Does that mean he was paying his fair share of child support, but she left anyway? I just cannot answer that generalized question. And also it seems you equate going to Japan with an inability to see the kids and that is just not the same.

The fact is that the Japanese system will always help the Japanese citizen over the foreigner so really who can blame the father in the light of such a biased one sided system.

The American courts. They will not condone parental abduction without more cause than "maybe I will be denied visitation but then maybe not" from a man who knew the risks or should have when he got married and had a kid here.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The last remaining countries on earth are Korea and Japan, in which a family register is in place to even outcast Japanese dads if the moms are looking to hurt them, and in most cases they do. They can even change the family name of the child without consent of the dad. Trust me, been there, done that, given up on it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Oracle

I think you have not differentiated cases enough for me to answer. I don't know what you mean by "run back to Japan" for example. Does that mean not involving the authorities? Does that mean she does not have sole custody? Does that mean he was paying his fair share of child support, but she left anyway? I just cannot answer that generalized question. And also it seems you equate going to Japan with an inability to see the kids and that is just not the same.

What l am talking about is overseas cases where a Japanese woman and non Japanese man have been married and had kids. They separate and the man has joint custody. He also pays child support, the woman is not allowed to remove the children from that country and has to surrender their passports however she goes to the Japanese embassy and they issue new passports in her Japanese name and she flees the country with the kids. And Japan refuses to do anything about it. And infact assist her to break the law. This is what lm refering to.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Did they specifically say he was returning to Japan with the boy? Maybe the child will remain in the US while the parents reconcile. Smart move IF that is what this 'deal' is all about.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Well, I re-read the article, and I read the other article from ABC news that someone posted here, and all I can say is if it walks like trap, and quacks like a trap, it probably is. I wish them luck, but if there was a bet on it, I´d place my money on Carl Mueller being in Japan and without access to his son very soon.

Like he says himself in the ABC article: ""If she's able to take him back. I don't think I'll see him again because of the law in Japan and the typical attitude,"

Well, Japan has not changed since. Only he has changed his mind, since Mayumi came to visit. I am looking forward to the predictable sequel...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Well I just read the link posted a ways back, all I can say is if this guy & his son go to Japan then that is the last he will likely see of him. Seems clear to me she wants her son & then will never let dad see him again.

While I dont condone abducting kids, I can understand why this father did, read & see how the US courts are helping the mother(which in normal circumstances they SHOULD), but given she is from Japan, if he & his son go to Japan its likely game over.

Damn I am glad the mrs & I dont have kids in Japan, having the J-system hanging over yr head year round has got to be causing a lot of people stress etc etc

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Child abduction is a terrible thing whoever causes it, and any country that allows such behavior is to be criticized. Still, the father seems clearly to be the abductor in this case, not the victim. Another AP story has it:

An international custody dispute between a Michigan native and his Japanese wife over their 8-year-old son has landed in the Macomb County courts. Carl Mueller and his wife, Mayumi, appeared in court last Thursday, but the matter was put on hold as Circuit Judge Mary Chrzanowski adjourned a full hearing to July 11 because Carl Mueller wasn't able to contact a lawyer to represent him. Chrzanowski said she probably will award custody to Mayumi Mueller. Carl Mueller moved to Japan and got married in 2002. He worked as an English teacher. Mueller said he later moved with the boy to China because of his faltering relationship with his wife and a lack of career opportunities. He said a job there didn't last, and in March, instead of returning to Japan, he and his son moved to St. Clair Shores to live with Mueller's parents. Carl Mueller told The Macomb Daily of Mount Clemens he did so because he feared that under Japanese family law, he may never see his son again. Mayumi Mueller's attorney, Jeanne Hannah, asked Chrzanowski to award custody to her client, accusing Carl Mueller of "abducting" the child. Hannah gave Chrzanowski a June 24 order from a Japanese court awarding the child back to the mother, with a hearing date set for July 22. For now, the boy will remain at his grandparents' home in St. Clair Shores, but a visitation schedule has been set up so his mother can see him while she's in town.

So here's a guy who couldn't support himself teaching English in Japan, couldn't do so either in China, retreats back to his parent's house in the US with a child from a woman he was still married to - then can't seem to get his act together enough to get a lawyer to his custody hearing. No wonder the judge was clearly leaning towards giving custody to the mother: doesn't seem like you could do worse than this guy.

I know that victims of abduction all want a poster boy; this guy, though, is not it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

He's gonna regret giving it a go.When the sh*t hits the fan,she'll bail and he will never see his boy again.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

cracaphatAug. 24, 2011 - 10:24PM JST

He's gonna regret giving it a go.When the sh*t hits the fan,she'll bail and he will never see his boy again.

Why don't you realize that it already hit the fan? It did when abducted his kids out of Japan!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Spidapig24Aug. 24, 2011 - 08:54PM JST

In a case like that I condemn the mother. However, if you could name a specific case meeting all those conditions, that have no other circumstances against the father or the court, I would be very surprised.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wow... I thought support issues were bad in the US. It is sad that the parents have to let the child go through all this. In the end it is the child that is hurt the most. I hope it isn't a trap and the two reconcile, but from what people have been posting here.the guy is screwed if they don't. Then again he shouldn't of kidnapped his son in the first place. Oh well I hope the kid isn't totally screwed up after this.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

how lovely

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Many Japanese women meet men in the wrong places... like bars or clubs with music, dancing and drinking. There is no reality ever spoken before marriage. The woman has watched Baywatch or Beverly Hills 90210 or Glee and gets a very skewed view of America. Even them that studied abroad in Seattle or whereever, were there to study english, party and spend mommy and daddy's money. Some only see the insides of miltary base. The men are lonely as hell and just want to get laid or have someone to chat with,not realizing how difficult it will be for their wife to get alone stateside. Even if she is an naturally adaptable (notice I didn't use the word educated) she may reject the type of Japanese spouse she meets stateside. She may tag some as bargirls, whores, dumb or whatever. The cultures are different, languages everything. As far as men, they may go stateside and realize the communication problem is too great after he sneaks his first visit to Hooters. Things take a downhill slide for many reasons. It takes a very adaptable person to live in another country even if their is no language barrier, but especially if there is one. I heard there is a 75% divorce rate in international/interracial marriages.. not good. People need to get away from fantasy land and into reality before jumping into these situations. Even in cases where the marriages last, duration doesn't mean happiness. Usually it is a mistake at least one of them decides to live with vs the alternative.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Slow news today

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Well people could also be tougher and not divorce for stupid reasons. I blame the concept of a "perfect" marriage and Walt Disney and the likes. Thus when things go wrong and they will go wrong they take the easy way out or divorce. realdoll, what does it mean to be "happy"? Again the "happy ever after" and the like are the reason for so many martial dysfunctions. About this couple with kid, good luck and try to be reasonable and understanding of each other.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Well people could also be tougher and not divorce for stupid reasons. I blame the concept of a "perfect" marriage and Walt Disney and the likes. Thus when things go wrong and they will go wrong they take the easy way out or divorce. realdoll, what does it mean to be "happy"? Again the "happy ever after" and the like are the reason for so many martial dysfunctions. About this couple with kid, good luck and try to be reasonable and understanding of each other.

I agree with you I wish more people could be less selfish and more committed to their marriage/relationships. Especially with children involved. There is and never will be a happy ever after marriage/relationship. There are no Prince Charmings or white knights to save the day.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why is this story highlighted - it appears as though the international custody issue is Japanese mothers losing there kids to foreign abductors; it is of course the other way around. "poor little us, we are being persecuted, we have a unique cultural heritage, blah blah blah" It's 2011, scrap the archaic koseki system and allow the reality of modern families to exist and hopefully flourish in spite of undue stress (shuffling workers around the country and breaking up families in the process, etc.) it's absolutel amazing that families in those situations DO manage to survive.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

American man, Japanese wife settle dispute over son, 8

Oh dear, it's going to get unsettled soon, when she gets her hands on her son in Japan. She should go to USA.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

She should go to USA.

She met her man in Japan, married him in Japan, lived in Japan, had her baby in Japan .... why on earth should she (and more importantly, the little boy) go to the USA?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

All I can say is that he's a brave guy to come back to a situation where the mother holds all the cards.

Was it brave of this man to kidnap his own son and take his boy away from his mother?

People are delusional on this matter. The father should be in jail and would be if the boy was from another family.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I just hope the little boy comes out of this without any serious heartache or emotional issues.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

smithinjapan:

The man did indeed spirit the child away,

**** spirit away?

Is that what it's called when it's a foreign father does it? "spirit away"? It's only when it's a Japanese woman that it's "kidnapping" or "abduction"?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So here's a guy who couldn't support himself teaching English in Japan, couldn't do so either in China, retreats back to his parent's house in the US with a child from a woman he was still married to - then can't seem to get his act together enough to get a lawyer to his custody hearing.

Thanks for the article and the summary, Laguna.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It's only when it's a Japanese woman that it's "kidnapping" or "abduction"?

You're learning, taj. :-)

Seems clear to me she wants her son & then will never let dad see him again.

While I dont condone abducting kids, I can understand why this father did

See? He abducts the kid abroad, and somehow that's proof that she is the unreasonable one!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

why on earth should she (and more importantly, the little boy) go to the USA?

The nuke disaster. But since no one else said that, I feel safe saying their reason was jingoism.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Cleo, i have not read all the comments here, but he left Japan because they were going to divorce. In his case, he most likely would never have been allowed to see his son again, due to the inane laws of Japan. The most frequent occurrence is that Japanese people living abroad take their kids back to Japan and the other parent is summarily dismissed from any parental contact. His move was a ploy to make sure he had some bargaining power. The world is big and there is no reason why anyone should feel obligated to stay in any one place anymore.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

His move was a ploy to make sure he had some bargaining power.

He killed any chance he ever had of having bargaining power. His move was more likely an attempt to avoid bargaining altogether, and I am glad to see it blew up in his face.

In his case, he most likely would never have been allowed to see his son again, due to the inane laws of Japan.

According to my knowledge, it is possible. How you believe it was "most likely" though, that I cannot explain. What do you know or think you know that so many of us here do not?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"The world is big and there is no reason why anyone should feel obligated to stay in any one place anymore."

What ? A kid is not a reason ? If so, you're not a parent. End of the story. Full custody of the children to other relatives, or to an adoptive family.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

IT'S ME

Wow.. sarcasm really goes over your head... hint... ---> =D

Fact is the article is so badly written it can be taken about a dozen different ways, but some are obviously ludicrous... E.g. Where do the Grandparents live??

He says he took their son from Japan to China, in part because of the couple's faltering relationship. Carl Mueller and the boy moved in with Mueller's parents.

Where does the mother live??

A U.S. man is rejoining his wife in Japan after they settled a custody dispute over their 8-year-old son.

Why is a US Court deciding this since the residence in US is of the parties invloved is not mentioned..

Nature of custody settlement is not described.. Child remained on their own in China Child remained on their own in US Child remained with grandparents in China Child remained with grandparents in US Child went to live with Father Child went to live with Mother

Next question is, assuming the child went to Japan with the father (a safe assumption in reality) Father and child living together Mother and child living together Father, Mother and child living together

Basically the article present very little information about the situation, and is open to so many assumptions of varying degrees of likelyood.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well this site has managed to remove all line breaks in the post above... yet it still results in a post that made more sense than the original article =)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Full custody of the children to other relatives, or to an adoptive family.

When he's got a perfectly good mother who wants him, why?

Fact is the article is so badly written it can be taken about a dozen different ways

Google 'Carl Mayumi Mueller' to get a wealth of facts. (Well, not a wealth exactly, but a bit more than here)

He took the boy from Japan to China 'because of the couple's faltering relationship' and 'a lack of career opportunities'.

The job in China didn't last, and he and the boy moved in with his parents in St. Clair Shores in the USA, which is why the US court was deciding the case. The circuit judge said she would probably award custody to the mother. Interestingly the local rag states that 'The boy had been residing with Mueller and Mueller's parents' - no mention of the word 'abduction'.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

YuriOtani - you can literally blame Walt Disney in my case - my husband works for them!!! ;)

But I agree absolutely with what you are saying. We have a fabulous marriage now - but we didnt 7 years ago, and we may not next year, next month or even next week - who knows. But I think that is normal - you go through good and bad patches and when you come through the tough times it makes you stronger. It IS worth it in the end.

I think people who go into marriage with certain expectations are the ones who often end up disappointed.

In this case we dont know what went wrong or how the couple are together now. I am sure he must be aware of the situation here otherwise he wouldnt have left in the first place - so maybe he has a good reason for trusting her.

We all know about the situations that end badly but no-one ever talks about the vast majority of divorces where something reasonable IS worked out between the couple. I really hope these two end up figuring something out for the sake of their son. As a Mother, she must have been devastated when her son was taken away so maybe - just maybe - she will understand how it feels and not want to inflict that pain on someone else. Time will tell.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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