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Savoie's suit against judge dismissed in child abduction

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Savoie is a controlling jerk, and has no one to blame but himself for not being able to see his children.

Japanese parents abducting children is a serious issue, and there are plenty of real victims out there. It's sad that Savoie has to be their spokesman.

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Savoie does seem like a nutcase. One can imagine why the wife ran away with the kids.

If Japan refuses to sign the UN Convention on child custody, its time for the US and other countries that have criminal kidnapping charges pending against Japanese spouses to register their names with Interpol. I've heard that several countries are close to doing that if the Japanese govt. doesn't move forward on this issue.

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Signing the convention alone won"t change a thing, as many other countries have shown. Even Interpol can't do anything unless those people are in a country that has an extradition agreement with the filing country.

Yeah, he looks like a looney.

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pandaclair: "Savoie is a controlling jerk, and has no one to blame but himself for not being able to see his children."

He may well be a jerk, I wouldn't know, but it's not so simple. He's not allowed to see his children because his ex-wife spirited them away to Japan and Japanese law forbids him to see them.

As for the lawsuit, this story is extremely lacking in detail. Why did he hold these people responsible?

Zenny11: "Signing the convention alone won"t change a thing, as many other countries have shown. Even Interpol can't do anything unless those people are in a country that has an extradition agreement with the filing country."

So they shouldn't sign it? True, agreeing to something and enforcing it are two very, very different things, and Japan has shown time and time again that it's "committments" to things are often no more than lip-service (just look at the 'smoking ban with no penalties' put into place!). BUT, signing it would be a step in the right direction.

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SmithinJapan.

Where did I say they shouldn't sign it or anything similar. Pls, provide a quote or stop making up stuff.

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pandaclair said;

Savoie is a controlling jerk

It's sad that Savoie has to be their spokesman.

gh7t68 said,

Savoie does seem like a nutcase. One can imagine why the wife ran away with the kids.

And yet is it so hard to imagine why others run away with their kids? Forget the fact that the other parent is a Japanese national for a moment. Imagine if the mother was an Australian national who unexpectedly took her kids half away across the globe from U.S to be away from her husband. I know what my first reaction would be.

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Forget the fact that the other parent is a Japanese national for a moment. Imagine if the mother was an Australian national who unexpectedly took her kids half away across the globe

google Ken Thompson, Australia.. then you'll see an example of an Australian mother taking their little son away to Europe.. Took the father 2 years to find where the son and the mother were..

Anyways.. This IS a huge problem not only when the parents are Japanese and non-Japanese... and I kind of agree with Zenny.. Japan just signing the convention won't really change the situation although like smith said, it is a good step forward.

this happens in so many parts of the world and when the kids have double nationality, one country claims the kids belong to their country while the other country claims the kids are theirs.. In Savoie's case, America might see this as a case of American children while Japan see it as a case of Japanese children..

kids' happiness should be the priority but when parents are divorced, often they cannot see beyond their own happiness.. they have to set the priority right when they split, and that goes to ALL parents in ALL countries..

having said that, by Japan signing the convention and if it becomes big news and makes people here more aware of what's happening, it is definitely a good thing as the first step should be for people to be AWARE.

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"Japanese law forbids him to see them." ???

I read all the court papers and reports from the original mediation. Chris is a narcisistic pr:ck. And his new wife a bully.

That said, Japan really, really needs to change it's family laws, to put priority on the rights of children.

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Agree with Taj, 1st change the laws within Japan.

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Its unfortunate that curruption is immune from prosecution. If you havent met or dont know Savoie personally, can you say he if he is a jerk or not? If my wife ran away with my kids and I couldnt get any help from anyone to make contact with them I would snap too. Just remember folks, he just wants access to his kids and if he was a good father to them he should have it. The problem isnt him its the stupid system in a backward bureaucratic country.

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Just remember folks, he just wants access to his kids

He 'just' wanted access to his kids while he enjoyed a new life with a new ready-made family and his ex and her kids were forced to live in a foreign country with no support. If he wanted to be a good father he should have stayed in Japan.

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cleo,

Irrelevant. If hes a good father to his kids he should have access. People split up. Thats life. Answer the question why he cant visit his kids? She has no right to keep them in hiding. His ex is just being vidictive because she knows shell be protected by doing such a thing in Japan.

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The Japanese system for children of separated couples leaves much to be debated but if you knew Savoie or met him before, you would know he was mercenary to the point of threatening you to get his way. He changed his nationality to Japanese to get investment funding, when that was done he sold and walked away and changed back to US citizenship prior to the divorce.

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Irrelevant. If hes a good father to his kids he should have access.

If he were a good father he wouldn't have dragged them out of the country where they were born and raised and dumped them in the back of beyond just because that suited him and his new wife.

Answer the question why he cant visit his kids?

Well he can't now because he tried to abduct them (with some degree of physical force, it seems) and has shown himself to be untrustworthy.

His ex is just being vidictive

And there was nothing vindictive in him forcing her to live in hicksville USA where she was obliged on a daily basis to watch his new missis playing Mom to her kids? Not vindictive - he just didn't care so long as he got what he wanted.

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cleo,

Lots of people move and split up. As I said. Thats life. Wouldnt be the first couple.

He never could see his kids even prior to this. Thats why he tried to take them back. Blame the system in Japan. Dont deny not knowing the Draconian family system in this country.

I don`t know if he forced her to do anything. You know this?

Do you know Noriko and Chris`s history?

Do you know if Chris told Noriko that she couldn`t see their children when they lived in the US? Because that is what happened on this end.

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He never could see his kids even prior to this.

? He and Noriko were apparently on reasonably good terms when everyone was living in Japan, good enough that he could persuade her to move to the US. Why would she do that if she had no intention of letting him see the kids?

Do you know Noriko and Chris`s history?

I know she wanted a divorce in Japan, he persuaded her to take the kids to America instead. No idea why she agreed to that crazy idea. I know he was having an affair with the woman he later married, while he was still married to Noriko (in Japanese law they're still married, or were at the time - he's a bigamist and a two-timer.) I know he took Japanese nationality when that was to his advantage then went running back to the US when it suited him. I know he dumped his ex in rural America where she was obliged to watch him and her kids playing happy families with the woman he committed adultery with. That alone would be enough to send many women running for home and vowing never to give the jerk the time of day ever again.

The judge who decreed that America was the children's 'habitual residence' ought to be struck off for incompetence.

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I am on noriko's side

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I heard Noriko agreed to go to the USA because she was willing to accept a $800,000 pay off to agree to his unreasonable terms. So they both are in the wrong. Him for being a self-centered jerk to her and forcing her to live in a foreign country watching her kids grow up with the other woman, and her to accept payment for those terms then reneging on it and running away with the kids. Both should lose their kids to someone who is a much more trustworthy person.

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I heard Noriko agreed to go to the USA because she was willing to accept a $800,000 pay off to agree to his unreasonable terms.

I would have to disagree on that.

There were two articles touching on the issue of the intent of Noriko (one from the landlord and one from her friend). Both articles indicated that Noriko agreed to move the kids to TN to "work things out" only to discover that she was filed with the divorce papers when she hasn't even unpacked.

Secondly, in order for Noriko and her kids to come to U.S., Chris has to petition the U.S. government (via U.S. Embassy in Japan) for Noriko and their kids under immediate family.(Form I-130) Now, I don't know about you but USCIS, to my knowledge, will not grant you residency status if the intention of the petitioner is to file divorce papers immediately upon arrival.

Thirdly, one does not have to be a resident in order to file a divorce paper in TN. In fact, according to the statute, if any one party has been a resident of TN for more than six months, any party could file a divorce. (Yes. Even Noriko herself!) All Noriko had to do was to hire a cut throat top of the line lawyer in TN, file a divorce paper, return to Japan, and literally watch her lawyer milk the living daylights out of Chris half way across the globe.

Having said that, you ask yourself why Noriko would bring their kids who has lived all their lives in Japan, half way across the globe to an unknown place?

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kids' happiness should be the priority but when parents are divorced, often they cannot see beyond their own happiness.. they have to set the priority right when they split, and that goes to ALL parents in ALL countries..

So true. As if often the case, custody decided by the courts and not through agreed arrangment on both sides leads to continuos bickering which significantly affects the "happiness" of the children.

There was an article written by a pshycologist (University of Oregon or Washington?) where studies have shown that children with bickering divorced parents had a tougher time than those of single parents.

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nigelboy if what you said is true about him getting her over there on false pretenses and then filing for divorce and having her agree to him having custody then I think he is guilty precisely what he is accusing her of. Both have committed wrong here but her justifiably.

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nigelboy at 01:59 AM JST - 10th December. So true. As if often the case, custody decided by the courts and not through agreed arrangment on both sides leads to continuos bickering which significantly affects the "happiness" of the children. There was an article written by a pshycologist (University of Oregon or Washington?) where studies have shown that children with bickering divorced parents had a tougher time than those of single parent

Japan divorce with kids is much much more difficult than U.S. and the Japan's laws are still 40 years behind west. There are a growing number of women and men, both foreign and Japanese, who are locked in miserable marriages because Japanese laws ignore the individual rights of parents to see their children after a divorce. Japanese divorce laws ignore the rights of children to have access to both parents. This is why in many cases women who want to leave their Japanese husbands do not do so. The situation is particularly difficult for foreign women because they have the added problem of getting legal visas to stay on in the country after a divorce.

Japanese laws recognize divorce, granted on mutual consent, on a form signed by both parties. Compared with laws in U.S., the custody is a separate issue from divorce and would be treated as such under the Japanese legal system. The problems arise because the concept of visitation rights or shared custody is not deeply ingrained in the Japanese system. There are no specific laws on visitation like most other countries and consultations between judges and children are not common, so it's difficult for the parent who does not have custody to gain access.he explained. This is because Japanese tradition views children not as individuals with their own rights but as belonging to the family.

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Japan divorce with kids is much much more difficult than U.S. and the Japan's laws are still 40 years behind west.

No it's not. It's really simple. Japan's justice system encourages both parties to act like responsible adults and therefore begs for a mutual agreement on the condition of the divorce (custody, alimony,visitation rights/times arrangement etc.) so much so that if two parties cannot come to an agreement, the court will give a favorable decision to one party so that they have no choice to act like adults. This is why roughly 8% of the divorces are settled through mediation, less than 1% actually goes through a trial, and the remainder are settled by both parties, amicably.

What you see in the west, the so-called parental rights are in actuality, close to parental ego where children becomes nothing but an object to satisfy it. And again, the visitation and shared custody shouldn't be decided or forced upon by stranger (the justice system) who have no vested interested in the family. If the divorce parents believe that shared custody is in the best interests of the children, they will make it happen without the courts butting in.

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Youve all missed the point. He should have the right to see his kids and in this country he doesnt. They can be swept away from one parent, get brainwashed, and never see them again. If you thinks that right then now I know why the world is in a mess.

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I said..

kids' happiness should be the priority but when parents are divorced, often they cannot see beyond their own happiness.. they have to set the priority right when they split, and that goes to ALL parents in ALL countries

sfip330 said...

Japan divorce with kids is much much more difficult than U.S. and the Japan's laws are still 40 years behind west. There are a growing number of women and men, both foreign and Japanese, who are locked in miserable marriages because Japanese laws ignore the individual rights of parents to see their children after a divorce. Japanese divorce laws ignore the rights of children to have access to both parents

and here I go again...

Most divorce cases in Japan do not include lawyers, and as I have stated in my comment (see the first quote above -- those are my words) it is very very important when parents split, they need to see beyond their OWN happiness and SET THE PRIORITY RIGHT. And there is NO LAW in Japan that says divorced parents cannot have access to their children. If both parties are responsible and can cherish their children's happiness, and they make sure the kids are happy and even after the split, they have THE SAME INTEREST TO MAKE THEIR KIDS HAPPY. Even when parents divorce, this MUTUAL INTEREST SHOULD NOT CHANGE. When a couple divorce and when they cannot see beyond their happiness, that is when the law is involved. Other than that, two mature, responsible people SHOULD BE ABLE TO sit down and talk, arrange things to make sure that their kids can get what they deserve.

It's NOT about the law, it's ABOUT THS TWO ADULTS whether they can act like adults or not. I personally know several Japanese couples who are divorced with children and their kids have access to both parents and they visit grandparents on both father's side and mother's side. What they did was NOT to involve the law but use common sense and LOVE FOR THEIR KIDS after deciding the couples wouldn't work as couples.. but they knew that they were still parents and loved their kids.

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fishy at 09:08 AM JST - 10th December. they make sure the kids are happy and even after the split, they have THE SAME INTEREST TO MAKE THEIR KIDS HAPPY. Other than that, two mature, responsible people SHOULD BE ABLE TO sit down and talk, arrange things to make sure that their kids can get what they deserve.

Should be able to sit down and talk but this is difficult for many who divorced with kids. In most cases, this does not apply in Japan for foreigners married to Japanese. Let's assume that this foreigner had lived in Japan for 15 years and been married to a Japanese women for 10 years. After their divorce, he was working at a steady job and making regular child support payments until immigration refused to issue him a visa and eventually deported him under suspicious circumstances. This case is powerful in two ways. First this is a proven strategy that could be used to pressure a spouses into allowing visitation. Second it is a typical example of the ineffectiveness of the Japanese courts at enforcing visitation, since in the end, we have been told the father was paid the money, yet has not been able to see his son. This was payable over a stretch of many years in monthly installments, so the real burden on the mother was small, and likely viewed simply as an unavoidable but bearable cost necessary in order to continue restricting access to the child.

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Youve all missed the point. He should have the right to see his kids and in this country he doesnt. They can be swept away from one parent, get brainwashed, and never see them again

Well, I don't think so. The reason why things are messy for Savoie and the family is because Savoie and Noriko couldn't be mature and responsible enough to arrange things FOR the kids. One parent having sole custody doesn't mean the other parent cannot see the kids. One parent can have custody and if they work things out, the other parent can have a regular access to children and those Japanese divorced couples with kids I mentioned in my earlier comment, all of them, the mothers have the custody. However, they talked and worked things out so that even though on the paper it says the mother has the custody, they still make sure that the kids get to see daddy, too. In this country, parents who do not have the custody CAN see their kids and spend time together when they work things out before they let things messy.. and though those mature, responsible people don't appear on news (because it isn't news worthy), most people work things out before divorce. The ones who couldn't do that involve lawyers and battle over their kids and they are on the news.

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fishy at 09:08 AM JST - 10th December. they make sure the kids are happy and even after the split, they have THE SAME INTEREST TO MAKE THEIR KIDS HAPPY. Other than that, two mature, responsible people SHOULD BE ABLE TO sit down and talk, arrange things to make sure that their kids can get what they deserve.

You must be a dreamer. If you talk to any experience divorce lawyers, they will tell you above statement is a dream for most. Reality is hostile, especially if you have assets.

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Youve all missed the point. He should have the right to see his kids and in this country he doesnt. They can be swept away from one parent, get brainwashed, and never see them again. If you thinks that right then now I know why the world is in a mess.

I believe it was Chris who moved out and went to U.S. then subsequently shacking up with his old flame. You should read cleo's post more carefully. There is no evidence to suggest that Noriko was unwilling to let Chris see their kids while in Japan.

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You must be a dreamer. If you talk to any experience divorce lawyers, they will tell you above statement is a dream for most. Reality is hostile, especially if you have assets.

You must of missed my post about less than 1% the divorces in Japan are settled in court.

Sfjp330. Sound advice. Do not assume that in Japan, divorces automatically equals hiring lawyers like the U.S.

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sfip330-

Of course, if you've talked to a DIVORCE LAWYER, then he/she will tell you all the nasty messy stories. And as Nigelboy stated, less than 1% of divorce in Japan involves lawyer/court. And no, I'm not a dreamer. I know sometimes @#$#@%#$ happens when couples split, but I'm just speaking from my experience and of friends I personally know of. If you're reading news like Savoie's case, of course divorce in Japan seem terrible.. same thing about talking to divorce lawyer.. they'll tell you all the terrible things you can imagine.. but the reality is, majority of people work things out. Those who can't, unfortunately, makes news!

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I 100% agree with Fishy. Talking from personal experience(own divorce).

Why involve a Divorce Lawyer who is only interested in his own bottom-line. We used a Lawyer but only to notarize what we agreed on, he had no say in anything besides certifying terms, etc.

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zenny-

thanks, and sometimes by involving a lawyer can make things even messier because lawyers often give their clients more ideas to get MORE... the more ideas they get, the more they want, and by talking to a lawyer, people often realize how much they CAN get from the other party.. sigh.

i repeat what i had said before.. but just because one parent has the custody, that doesn't mean the other parent cannot have the access to the kids. people can decide who to have custody without involving lawyer/court in Japan. you simply put a check mark on the divorce paper to file to the government office. this is just for a precedure... the rest is up to the couple/parents. they sit down and decide what the arrangement will be for the parent who does not live with the child.

i do realize some divorces are NASTY and MESSY... and I understand it and I'm not denying it, sfip330. but i want to say that those nasty divorces are not majority.

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Haha, almost nothing goes to court in japan. That doesn't mean things are "amicably settled" or that lawyers weren't involved.

Would the wife grant visitation ? Well there was no evidence she wouldn't so that must mean she would. Good logic.... Never mind the fact that she can an any time shut it off if she chooses :|

Case is open and shut to my mind. Was savioe a bit of a jerk for what he did ? No doubt. Mind you he was being proactive and taking steps to deal with a system that could completely screw him over. Would have worked maybe if the wife had stuck with her end of the deal. Unless of course her landlord and friend (who are of course usually the type of people who are expert on intimate, embarrassing details of peoples lives) are to be be believed and there was no deal. So sure, yeah, there was no deal 800,000 or so was passed for no reason... That makes sense...

Was the wife going to be reasonable, maybe.., maybe not... What's the key point she didn't have to be reasonable and there wouldn't be a thing anybody could do about it... Maybe we can the friend or landlord... I'm sure the know all the intimate details...

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Haha, almost nothing goes to court in japan.

oh well... HA HA, EVERY LITTLE THING goes to counrt in America!!

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Would the wife grant visitation ? Well there was no evidence she wouldn't so that must mean she would. Good logic.... Never mind the fact that she can an any time shut it off if she chooses :|

Common sense my friend. If she didn't want Chris to see their kids, there was no reason for her to move them half way across the world.

So sure, yeah, there was no deal 800,000 or so was passed for no reason... That makes sense...

Like I stated previously, Noriko could of filed for divorce in TN hiring a cutthroat lawyer if the money was the issue. Try again bud.

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Mine is not a japan/us comparative post.

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junnama-

Mine is not a japan/us comparative post. i know, i was just joking.

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i know i was just joking.

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Can't wait to see the appeal reaching to the US Supreme Court.

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and i agree with you Nigelboy. 100%!

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So your logic is: in the time savioe offers her a deal she deduced out what the divorce laws are in the state he wants to go to gets professional divorce advice. Ok, so she first understands exactly how things are going to work in another country with a divorce court system completely different to japan and then trusts the lawyer enough to follow his advice and then makes the most cutthroat decision possible. All of course being done in legalize in her second language. Oh yeah, makes sense....

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Ok, so she first understands exactly how things are going to work in another country with a divorce court system completely different to japan

i thought she wasn't going to the states to get divorced. she and the kids went there in order to re-start, not to end. and when she and the kids went to the states with savoie, there was no money talk.. he only presented the $$$ after he told her he wanted a divorce.

they had talked about divorce while living in japan but noriko thought they were not going to after all and start again in savoie's hometown.. that was a trick, though. she didn't know..

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Fishy, sorry I just don't buy that. A large sum of money was passed between the two. There had to be a reason. Savioe wouldn't have done it unless he was expecting something in return. Oh and the wife accepted the money she didn't turn it down.

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Oh and don't get me wrong, I do think savoie is a jerk and in someways I'm kind of glad he got screwed over but:

Acting like his wife was some sort of victim is just ludicrous and doesn't match the facts.

Japan's visitation rights system is screwed up and if it takes a case like this to get some press on the situation... So be it.

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Japanese visitation rights can be agreed to on the divorce form, there is a place of it that makes the agreed terms legal. Only way to legally prevent visitations is by a "restraining order" same as overseas.

Problem in Japan is that if visitation rights are breached there is little recourse.

Those japanese divorce papers besides visitation also have sections for alimony, etc.

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Forgot to get a court divorce couples usually have to go through a process of counseling, etc only if all fails will it go to court.

Local wards will try to do anything to keep the marriage going or come to a compromise solution. This process can take a few months.

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A large sum of money was passed between the two.

You're assuming that the agreed amount is more than what the court might have awarded if she filed herself.

Just to reiterate, no sane person is going to deceive the U.S. government and move her kids half way across the world to get a divorce.

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Nigelboy my 10:57 post .... Discusses what you're talking about... Can you address those points ?

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Oh and do you really think someone wouldn't deceive the govt for money? Really?

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A large sum of money was passed between the two

yes, she accepted the money. she tried to find a job, tried to go to college.. she tried to live there. but she couldn't take it anymore when savoie's new wife would drop by to get the kids and drop them off, and they critisized noriko and all that.. she felt miserable.

it was only when she couldn't take it anymore, she decided to return to japan.

the way she did wasn't good, but i can see why she felt that she couldn't be there anymore and wanted to return to THEIR home country...

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Junnama. Those are not points. Your whole assumption is based on the premise that there was a monetary offer in place from Chris to Noriko prior to her arriving in TN.

To repeat myself, if divorcing and milking as much from Chris was Noriko's true intent, all she could of done was to hire a cut-throat lawyer in TN and watch the lawyer do his work at the comfort of half way across the globe with her children. No risk, high rewards.

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You're not addressing the points at all. No point in conversing. Peace out....

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The two quotes from two articles that sort of puts in perspecitve of Noriko's intention :

“I rented the house to Christopher and Nokiro,” he said. “She wanted the marriage to work, but he left."

“Crafton, a native of Japan who befriended Noriko Savoie during her short time in Tennessee, said her friend tried to get a divorce while the couple still lived in Japan, but her husband had refused and later persuaded her to move to the U.S. with the children.

"Everything was provided so she could begin a new lifestyle, but right after that he gave her divorce papers, So basically she was trapped."”

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nigelboy, She just ran off with the kids, didnt say a thing. So if she was concerned about the kids spending time with their father she should have made an arrangement prior to. However, she jumped ship (because she knew she would be protected in Japan)and didnt notify him. It was vindictive behaviour thats it thats all. Happens to many people in this country. Even if a judge orders visitation rights to one parent the parent with custody doesnt have to obey this decision. Its a joke. His affair has no bearing on the situation. He should be allowed to see his kids. That`s all he wants. It is possible to dislike your ex and love your kids.

Zenny11,

Anything agreed upon has no merit in Japan in regards to visitation rights of children. On paper or not.

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pointofview.

Got proof of that?

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Just check ongoing battles on the CNR website. No joke. You and I know there are plenty of fishy stories about a parents access to their children in Japan.

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I am aware of the CNR website.

Fishy and I and others here have personal exeriences too, guess they count NIL. Like with everywhere else there are good and bad stories.

Again I ask for proof where the goverment legally restricts visitation rights. Show me the law-book that states it?

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Anything agreed upon has no merit in Japan in regards to visitation rights of children

There's actually truth in this. Even when a parent has visitation right, of the other party says no, there's no way to really enforce it. I agree on that. However, I have been saying this many times.. TWO PEOPLE work things out without involving law and court, and if TWO PEOPLE (parents) set their priority right and put their children before them, they can forget about all those legal terms and visitation RIGHT and all that.. And I do know divorced Japanese couples who never involved lawyer/court and they are letting each other share their kids and kids have access to both families. When people involve court/lawyer because of their incompetence to work things out after the split, #%$T%#$T happens, so... work things out between the two people and don't let the kids see #$%Y%T.

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It can be enforced, hence why our lawyer was present.

You need to get the Child and Family Affairs section involved, they will assign a person to check up that the visitations happen, etc.

Police won"t do anything unless they got a legal paper/order telling them to do things.

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Zenny,

Sorry.. I generally agree with things you say, but it actually is a fact that visitation right isn't enforceable. Lawyers/court can advice people, call them and etc, but there really is no punishment, and that is why sadly there are people who cannot see their children even though they pay lots of $$ to their lawyers/court. There are people who follow court order regarding visitation right, but there are also people who ignore, and there is no punishment for those who ignore. Same thing about child support $$. Ones that decide they don't want to pay anymore... even if they refuse to pay after a court order, there really is no punishment.

So, it is really best for two people to work thing out towards their mutual interest (to make their kids happy and give them what they deserve).

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I agree there is little enforcement and have stated so before.

But again if BOTH are adults things can be worked out. Any stubborn person an upset the apple-cart. But there is help available from the goverment.

I am against the posters here state it is policy/law to restrict access to the kids.

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But again if BOTH are adults things can be worked out.

yes, 100% agree about this.

I am against the posters here state it is policy/law to restrict access to the kids.

agree about this, too ;)

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Both had a serious problem. But what amazes me more is the Tennessee State District Court's ignorance and inability to work on the issue. The judges seemed to give up on it.

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Personally, I don't care if Noriko agreed to go to the United States for a divorce and a big money payout. It's the cultural expectation that women stay home with the kids. Noriko had been a stay at home mother for years, and she was totally financially dependent on Savoie. Japan is an expensive country in the middle of a recession. A woman, who hadn't worked in years, with two small children would have a hard time supporting herself in Noriko's circumstances. To make matters worse, CHILD SUPPORT, like visitation, isn't enforced in Japan either. Do you think Savoie didn't realize this? He used Noriko's financial dependency on him to force her to give up her entire culture and country so he could be with AMY SAVOIE. No matter what people think, this has never been about the kids for Savoie. It was all his relationship with Amy (who had her own divorce and custody issues). What Savoie did to Noriko speaks of ECONOMIC COERCION! Savoie wanted his cake and eat it too. Unfortunately for him, it blew up in his face. That's it in a nutshell!

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"She just ran off with the kids, didnt say a thing. So if she was concerned about the kids spending time with their father she should have made an arrangement prior to"

NO, Point of View, if SAVOIE was so concerned about spending time with his kids, SAVOIE should have made an arrangement prior to.

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He used Noriko's financial dependency on him to force her to give up her entire culture and country so he could be with AMY SAVOIE. No matter what people think, this has never been about the kids for Savoie. It was all his relationship with Amy (who had her own divorce and custody issues). What Savoie did to Noriko speaks of ECONOMIC COERCION! Savoie wanted his cake and eat it too. Unfortunately for him, it blew up in his face. That's it in a nutshell!

Yeah. Fair statement. I don't know the timeline in which Chris had connections with AMY, but it sounds clear to me that his marriage life was on the rocks while they were still in Japan.

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"Yeah. Fair statement. I don't know the timeline in which Chris had connections with AMY, but it sounds clear to me that his marriage life was on the rocks while they were still in Japan."

Chris and Amy Savoie were college sweethearts. He rekindled his relationship with her while still married and living in Japan. He moved to Tennessee (where Amy lived) in Dec. 2008, and served Noriko divorce papers in June 2009 two days after she arrived in the states. A person has to be a resident of Tennessee 6 months before they can file for divorce.

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Chris and Amy Savoie were college sweethearts. He rekindled his relationship with her while still married and living in Japan. He moved to Tennessee (where Amy lived) in Dec. 2008, and served Noriko divorce papers in June 2009 two days after she arrived in the states. A person has to be a resident of Tennessee 6 months before they can file for divorce.

Holy gross! This could be as disgusting as polygamy.

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virago,

I think you jumped to conclusions. He spent lots of time with his kids and then she took them away. Try to make some sense.

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pointofview-

He spent lots of time with his kids and then she took them away

Savoie was too busy and even though he was awarded 2 weekends a month with the kids, he usually sent his new wife to pick up the kids and she spent time with the kids, Savoie was rarely there.

Noriko emailed Savoie and asked him to keep his new wife away but he didn't listen and kept sending HER to Noriko's place to get the kids and drop them off.

Savoie left Japan in 2008 and it was 2009 when he finally invited his family to the states.. Noriko and the kids followed savoie after Savoie convinced them to start a new life in the states..

Doesn't sound like he was spending much time with the kids to me.

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@ Zenny 11. You seem to think the court staff and mediators are helpful and I have to disagree with that. Maybe they are for most of the people or maybe they are for Japanese people but in my case and in every other foreign case I am aware of the court completely sided with the Japanese person and what they wanted. The mediators told me it was best for my son if I divorced my wife. We never saw a counselor even though I suggested the idea. The court went out of its way to make good on all of my wife's suggests no matter how unreasonable. I hired a lawyer and went through the process. I thought law would prevail in the end. I thought I could find justice in the court. Now I realize I was wrong. It is best if you stay out of court (like others have said). My ex is not a reasonable person but the court is more unreasonable. You only waste time and money in court. So in conclusion, something has to be done so the children have access to both parents. Japan has to change its laws for the benefit of the children. Japan could do and needs to do much more to protect all children. They are the future.

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pointofview: "He should have the right to see his kids" Screw that. His rights should amount to nought. He was the lying, cheating scum how left them behind in Japan in order to shack up with another family, while establishing 6 months "residency" in TN so he could get a favorable divorce there. Selfish. And I maintain that his new wife is an insufferable bully.

Now, that said, the kids should have the right to see their father.

Along with the right to live in their native country.

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kwbrow2.

Never knew that the ward's child & family services, etc work for the courts and lawyers. But, yes, they helped me a lot with a variety of problems and still are.

Anybody here knows that if it goes to court things go bad that includes foreigners, japanese and the staff at the ward office. Hence why they will work hard before things get to that level.

People just never use the resources that are available at the ward office.

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"I thought I could find justice in the court."

I think a lot of westerners mistakenly expect justice in a family court, whereas justice and family are entirely unconnected for Japan (and most Asian and African nations).

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I think a lot of westerners mistakenly expect justice in a family court, whereas justice and family are entirely unconnected for Japan (and most Asian and African nations).

Doesn't make it morally right NOT to have them connected, either.

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"virago,

I think you jumped to conclusions. He spent lots of time with his kids and then she took them away. Try to make some sense."

Point of View, Savoie and Noriko were seperated in Japan in 2007. Savoie lived in Tokyo while Noriko lived with her parents in Fukuoka. Savoie didn't move to the states until Dec. 2008. Noriko and the kids went to the states in June 2009. Obviously, Savoie couldn't have seen the kids very much during this time. And when Savoie did see them, he never claimed that Noriko prevented him visitation WHILE THEY WERE IN JAPAN. Presumably, Savoie was paying Noriko some kind of child support during their seperation. Savoie could've stayed in Japan and continued the agreement he had with Noriko DURING THEIR SEPERATION. Instead, he used economic coercion to force Noriko and the kids to give up their entire country and culture to move to the states so he could marry another woman. This whole thing was never about the kids, it was about AMY.

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Typical American reaction: find somebody, ANYBODY (including the judge) to blame/sue when things don't go one's way.

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pointofview at 02:12 PM JST - 9th December The problem isnt him its the stupid system in a backward bureaucratic >country.

Which backwards bureaucratic country? Seems from the article that he's had pretty bad luck with both countries.

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Well he can't now because he tried to abduct them (with some degree of physical force, it seems) and has shown himself to be untrustworthy.

Depends on which country's law you are basing it off of. In the US after she moved the kids back to Japan, breaking a legally binding agreement that she agreed to obviously, the courts granted Savoie full custody, as a result he has the right to "abduct" his kids based off of a US ruling. However though in Japan they don't recognize US rulings, so in Japan it would be abduction.

The judge who decreed that America was the children's 'habitual residence' ought to be struck off for incompetence.

Why? The only reason why the judge decreed that was because Noriko came to an agreement/settlement with Savoie that the children's habitual residence would be in the US, she would be granted primary custody along with over half a million dollars. The judged looked at this settlement, decided it was a legal settlement and then asked both parties if they both agreed to the settlement, both Savoie and Noriko agreed to the terms of the settlement.

Well cleo if your a judge and both parties have agreed to a settlement, would you not enforce/make binding that settlement?

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remember that MR. SAVOIE IS JAPANESE. and on taking JAPANESE nationality, he is no longer AMERICAN.

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Well cleo if your a judge and both parties have agreed to a settlement, would you not enforce/make binding that settlement?

This was on paper a totally Japanese family. The American courts should have told them to go sort their problems out in Japan. As it was Savoie played the 'I'm an American' card and got the court to give him what he wanted regardless of the needs of any of the foreigners involved.

Exactly what folk on JT accuse the Japanese courts of doing.

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butterlfly1-

remember that MR. SAVOIE IS JAPANESE. and on taking JAPANESE nationality, he is no longer AMERICAN.

I think he conveniently renounced Japanese citizenship and then regained U.S. citizenship... so, he's American now. He became a Japanese citizen for business/tax reasons, now he lives and works in the U.S, he has no reason not to have a U.S. citizenship. I believe both of the children have dual citizenship as Savoie was a U.S. citizen when the kids were born, but the fact that the kids were born and raised in Japan, no matter what the paper says and what they look like, they are Japanese inside-- just like me and my children.

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Depends on which country's law you are basing it off of.

According to both Japanese and American law, on taking Japanese nationality Savoie was supposed to give up his American nationality. The fact that he used both as it suited him shows that he is untrustworthy.

The fact that he committed adultery shows that he is untrustworthy.

The fact that he dragged Noriko and the children across the world to serve divorce papers on her shows that he is untrustworthy.

And that's before we even start on the abduction.

I think he conveniently renounced Japanese citizenship and then regained U.S. citizenship... so, he's American now. He became a Japanese citizen for business/tax reasons, now he lives and works in the U.S, he has no reason not to have a U.S. citizenship

I've seen no mention anywhere of him renouncing Japanese nationality, or re-applying for US nationality. US law states that a person who undergoes naturalization in a foreign state upon the citizen's own application or upon an application filed by a duly authorized agent, after having attained the age of eighteen years forfeits his US nationality.

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Savoie had really well-planned the whole thing for his benefit.. planned things so that he'd get all he wanted, cared less about noriko, he had his new family/wife, business and all that.. he moved back to the states in 2008 to PREPARE for his big plan..

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cleo-

**I've seen no mention anywhere of him renouncing Japanese nationality

You're right, and that is why I said I think. The fact that he could start a business there, could get married to an American national (Amy Savoie) so quickly and go through the trial and all that, I thought it would be natural to think that he might have reclaimed his citizenship as he CAN regain his U.S citizenship. Someone told me that The U.S. immigration doesn't check the documentation of his Japanese citizenship being renounced or not, so technically he can still hold Japanese passport while regaining U.S. passport.

if the immigration status of anyone whose parent, grandparents or in-laws residing in the US indicates the legal opinion of their wish to live in the US, the applicant becomes eligible for immediate citizenship.

Either way, whatever the paper says, he can conveniently play Japanese or American, and like you say, it shows that he's not trustworthy.

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This was on paper a totally Japanese family. The American courts should have told them to go sort their problems out in Japan. As it was Savoie played the 'I'm an American' card and got the court to give him what he wanted regardless of the needs of any of the foreigners involved.

But they didn't and Noriko agreed to the settlement.

According to both Japanese and American law, on taking Japanese nationality Savoie was supposed to give up his American nationality. The fact that he used both as it suited him shows that he is untrustworthy.

And he did according to Japanese law, he renounced his american citizenship in a Japanese court. Where does it say in American law that he has to renounce American citizenship? The American government does not recognize US citizens that renounce their citizenship if it is not in the presence of a diplomatic or consular officer. Not only that the US reserves the right to reject a US citizens renouncing of US citizenship. Basically he took advantage of a loop hole. A loop hole I'm willing to bet that most Americans that have Japanese citizenship have taken advantage of.

The fact that he committed adultery shows that he is untrustworthy. The fact that he dragged Noriko and the children across the world to serve divorce papers on her shows that he is untrustworthy. And that's before we even start on the abduction

I think it is fair to say based upon his own statements during the divorce preceding that the primary and only reason why he dragged her and children across the world to serve her divorce papers is because he knew that if he divorced in Japan he would never see his kids. Now he is in the wrong for luring her to the US but under the circumstances it is understandable why he would do it.

Committing adultery does not mean they are an unfit parent, just that they are not a good spouse. It is only abduction in Japan, the US would not consider his actions to be abduction if he was to do what he did in the US.

It is important to note that both sides are untrustworthy in this matter, him more so than Noriko. Keep in mind that she voluntarily entered into a binding legal agreement with Savoie that the Judge agreed to enforce and that is she could not move the kids back to Japan without consent from Savoie, she could take them to Japan on visits but not relocate them there without Savoie consent. Now you may not like that agreement or think it is unfair but it is an agreement she agreed to voluntarily.

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Look Cleo I don't like Savoie, I think he is a whole bunch of naughty words for what he did to Noriko but the fact remains though is that he divorced her in the US as a way to try and get visitation rights and just because of his adultery and manipulating Noriko to come to the US does not mean he should be barred from seeing his kids ever again, unless of course they reach out to him.

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Where does it say in American law that he has to renounce American citizenship?

I gave you the quote, in italics, in my previous post. It comes from §349(a) of the current Immigration and Nationality Act and I found it on the americanlaw.com website.

he knew that if he divorced in Japan he would never see his kids

He knew no such thing. Why would Noriko drag the kids halfway across the world and dump herself without support in the back of rural America beyond if she had no intention of letting him see the kids? The idea is absurd. The point is that he wanted to live in America with his new wife and family, and he wanted to see his kids. It is indeed 'it is understandable why he would do it.' It's called having your cake and eating it too. If his main concern was the kids' welfare, and being able to see the kids, he could have opted to stay in Japan. Presumably Amy wasn't having any of that.

Committing adultery does not mean they are an unfit parent

just that he is an untrustworthy louse, as I've been saying all along. I also remember reading somewhere, though I can't find it now, that American law doesn't allow immigration for the sake of divorce, which means he must have lied to the Immigration authorities in order to get her settled in the country.

the US would not consider his actions to be abduction if he was to do what he did in the US.

Just as well the kids are no longer in the US, then.

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cleo,

As long as Savoie did not intend to give up his US citizenship when he applied for the Japanese one, he would not be required to do so under US law. Depending on the situation, it is possible they could lose US citizenship. However, it is not a requirement. This is according to the US State Dept.

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To be clear, unless Savoie explicitly stated he wanted to give up his US citizenship and that that was his intent, he would not be required under US law to relinquish his US citizenship. Merely applying for and seeking another country's citizenship is not enough. There have been many cases about this and the result was this decision.

Of course, according to Japanese law, he should have given up his US citizenship. However, as you probably know, many do not.

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I have done business with Savoie before but avoided the pitfalls after 3 sessions of talks when he made implied threats which was why we never did business. You have to be careful with him because he seems capable of doing anything to get his way. Guys who lost money with him are grown-ups so they can only blame themselves.

As for his mess with Noriko, I think that is between him and her and both tried hard and perhaps dirty. Just who started playing dirty first (my guess would be Savoie) but that hardly matters at all now. For getting herself into this mess, Noriko has only herself to blame since she decided on her own free will to marry him.

As for the family court processes in Texas and Japan, matrimonial law is one of the branches of law that is very localised and international uniformity is lacking, just like gay marriages being recognised in one place and not in another. So this contention about Japanese law being unfair or Texas judges being short-sighted will be debated till kingdom come.

The lesson we can learn here is not a new lesson as we see it happen all the time. Our sympathies should only lie with the innocent children.

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99% of the time, plaintiffs in law suits against judges have absolutely no credibility whatsoever. This guy is no exception.

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unless Savoie explicitly stated he wanted to give up his US citizenship and that that was his intent, he would not be required under US law to relinquish his US citizenship. Merely applying for and seeking another country's citizenship is not enough.

Except that acquiring Japanese nationality requires the person to relinquish his former nationality. So either Savoie lied when he took out Japanese nationality, or he lied when he claimed to be still American on his return to the US. Either way he's a proven liar. The fact that others may pull the same scam doesn't change that.

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cleo,

First, please do not take my explanation as any form of excuse for Savoie. It is merely clarification of the laws involved in the case that you brought up. I don't know the man and don't know what he did vis-a-vis the law. However, it is possible that he did not lie in either case. The US does not report any such information to Japan, as most countries would not about their own citizens. Japan also does not always ask for proof of the reliquishing of another country's citizenship. Kind of a 'don't ask don't tell'.

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I truly can't be bothered to read all the comments about this or the other articles about this case. It really is a he said she said kind of thing. I think audacious has made one of the best posts so far on this subject. It is the kids that suffer and deserve our sympathy.

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It's like "Crime and Punishment" if you're guilty in general. Then you're guilty of any specific thing. Savoie has lied about something so he can never be telling the truth...

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Except that acquiring Japanese nationality requires the person to relinquish his former nationality. So either Savoie lied when he took out Japanese nationality, or he lied when he claimed to be still American on his return to the US. Either way he's a proven liar. The fact that others may pull the same scam doesn't change that.

Yes but US law requires the presence of a diplomatic or consular officer from the US government when an american renounces US citizenship. It is a loop hole in Japanese law. So he may have lied to the Japanese government in order to get Japanese citizenship, I'm willing to bet that the vast majority of Americans that have Japanese citizenship have done the exact same thing.

Fine he is a liar, it is irrelevant in this case.

He knew no such thing.

Fine he didn't know 100%, he just knew that Japanese culture along with the experience of thousands of other foreigners married to Japanese, that if he were to divorce that the odds would be against him that he would see his kids again. He even said that in courtroom to the judge.

Why would Noriko drag the kids halfway across the world and dump herself without support in the back of rural America beyond if she had no intention of letting him see the kids?

Because Savoie lied to her about working on the marriage, he wanted to divorce her but he needed to do it in the US in order to try and guarantee visitation rights, because the truth of the matter is that if he did divorce her in Japan the courts would not mandate visitation.

So what am I getting at? That if Japanese law would have forced visitation rights, Savoie probably would have headed back to the USA to marry his mistress and live there while at the same time visiting his kids or his kids visiting him, he would not have bothered to lure Noriko and the kids to the US.

If his main concern was the kids' welfare, and being able to see the kids, he could have opted to stay in Japan.

But based upon Japanese culture and Japanese laws and the experience of thousands of foreigners married to Japanese people that the odds would be heavily against him that he would see his kids. He went to the US to try and make it so the odds would be in his favor that he could see his kids, you may call it "having your cake and eating it to" but keep in mind that he had to pay over $700k to Noriko to get that, if he did stay in Japan he wouldn't have had to pay the $700k nor would he had to pay any child support.

just that he is an untrustworthy louse, as I've been saying all along.

So what? That means nothing in terms of his parenting ability. So is Noriko, she lied to a US judge and broke a legally binding agreement. They are both untrustworthy.

I also remember reading somewhere, though I can't find it now, that American law doesn't allow immigration for the sake of divorce, which means he must have lied to the Immigration authorities in order to get her settled in the country.

Unless the authorities asked him if he was coming back to the US with his wife to divorce her, which I'm betting they didn't, he didn't lie to anyone except for Noriko and possibly the kids.

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wow, common sense shown in a country usually lacking any. amazing.

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I think that Japan does very well for their citizens not signing any international agreement in cases like this otherwise everyday we'd see several cases like Sean Goldman's here, an innocent boy who had his life teared apart and people like David Goldman who got into a custody battle only to call the media's attention not caring for his son's feelings in any moment.

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I think that Japan does very well for their citizens not signing any international agreement in cases like this otherwise everyday we'd see several cases like Sean Goldman's here, an innocent boy who had his life teared apart and people like David Goldman who got into a custody battle only to call the media's attention not caring for his son's feelings in any moment.

You have got to be kidding me, you honestly believe that Sean's father doesn't care about his feelings?

You believe that parents should have the right to just pick up and leave for no reason and prevent the other parent from ever seeing their child again, like in the case of David Goldman's wife?

You talk about not caring for Sean's feelings, how about what his dead wifes family did to try and prevent David from ever seeing his son again. How about all the lies they told Sean about David or how about the fact that when they were forced to return Sean they brought him through the front gate in front of all the media when Sean and his lawyer repeatedly offered/told them to bring him through a separate entrance that wouldn't have the media at all present. You know how furious David was when they did that?

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Your views on the Goldman's case are just pathetic and just downright evil krisallenation.

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So what am I getting at? That if Japanese law would have forced visitation rights, Savoie probably would have headed back to the USA to marry his mistress and live there while at the same time visiting his kids or his kids visiting him, he would not have bothered to lure Noriko and the kids to the US.

I think your argument is based on the premise that if Noriko and Chris were to get a divorce in Japan, they would of actually used the court system in Japan when in fact over 90% of the divorce are settled without the courts.

Although my argument is that Chris pursuaded Noriko to come to U.S. under false pretenses, if in fact Noriko came to U.S. for monetary reason, the fact that she did come to U.S. is a clear signal that she was going to give Chris at least the visiation of the kids.

Therefore, Chris, if he stayed in Japan, could of offered $700K to Noriko in turn for her to agree to a visitation. However, him shacking up with Amy and his new commitment to stay in U.S. made that scenario impossible.

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I agree with nigelboy.

And as Fishy and I been saying. There is no need for a court to work visitation rights out, etc. Just sit down at a table and discuss it like adults.

As long as both parties are reasonable, etc things can be worked out to everyones satisfaction. It is when people insist I NEED to have 100% control over the kids, etc is when things start heading south. And in this case it appears that Savoie was that person and not Noriko.

Not going into the money as we don"t know what discussions etc happened about that.

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I think your argument is based on the premise that if Noriko and Chris were to get a divorce in Japan, they would of actually used the court system in Japan when in fact over 90% of the divorce are settled without the courts.

No its not based on the premise that they would use the court system at all, its the fact that there is no way even with a court system for him to get visitation rights when you consider the fact that the odds are against him that Noriko would have granted him visitation. The truth of the matter is that Japanese culture is not one that really believes in visitation/parenting by both parents after a divorce and he wanted visitation so in order to increase the odds of that happening he lured her to the US.

No Chris lured Noriko under false pretenses, he made a settlement that he would give her around $700k to $800k plus primary custody along with child support if I'm not mistaken on that last part.

And as Fishy and I been saying. There is no need for a court to work visitation rights out, etc. Just sit down at a table and discuss it like adults.

Sadly most people can't and the problem of course is that in Japan as soon as the custody parent doesn't want the other parent to see the children their is nothing the other parent can do. Savoie knew that and that is why he wanted to divorce in the US as a way to try and increase his odds of visitation.

It is when people insist I NEED to have 100% control over the kids

Define 100%, because Savoie agreed to let Noriko be the primary custodian of the kids in the US

And in this case it appears that Savoie was that person and not Noriko.

Ah no its not only Savoie, that would also include Noriko in that she kidnapped the children to Japan, breaking a court order that she agreed to and lying to US authorities. Oh and by the way Noriko hasn't allowed any contact whatsoever by the kids to Savoie, so one could argue that right now Noriko is insisting on 100% control over the kids considering she is controlling their communication to Savoie.

Look the entire situation is just f'd up but the point that I'm making is that Savoie should be allowed to see his kids, the crap that he pulled with Noriko does not mean he should not see his kids. Lets be honest here I think we all know that unless Noriko has a change of heart or once the kids reach the age of 18/20 make contact of their own(very unlikely though), that there is very high/real chance that he is never going to hear or see his kids again. Now a lot of people like cleo will make the case that he should have stayed in Japan instead of moving back to the US and tricking Noriko and marrying his mistress but what he did should not be used as a justification for why he can't be in contact with his kids.

Because the truth of the matter is that even if he did stay in Japan, because of Japanese culture there is very real chance that he would not be in contact with his kids right now either if he was to stay in Japan.

The real questions we need to be asking is how can we get Savoie to be in contact/allow visitation with his kids. All the other crap is irrelevant.

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No its not based on the premise that they would use the court system at all, its the fact that there is no way even with a court system for him to get visitation rights when you consider the fact that the odds are against him that Noriko would have granted him visitation.

By her agreeing to go to U.S., I believe she did in fact agree that at least Chris will get visitation, right? If you say she didn't agree to the whole concept of "visitation" to begin with (whether U.S. or Japan), then you must conclude that Noriko was tricked by Chris to come to U.S.

I think the other posters are saying that if Chris stayed in Japan and offered the same financial incentives as a condition to visiation, Noriko would of agreed without the courts getting involved.

However, since there was "Amy" in the picture, this was not an option for Chris. At this point, the "childrens best interest" became secondary. This is what cleo was talking about.

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"The real questions we need to be asking is how can we get Savoie to be in contact/allow visitation with his kids. All the other crap is irrelevant."

Good luck with that after Savoie hired four thugs to forcefully remove two screaming kids (who were yelling help) while holding their mother in a full nelson. Great way for Savoie's kids to remember him.

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