Archive for July, 2009

The media has recently been talking of children illegally kidnapped by their mothers: in the US, Shawn Goldman ‘s case is perhaps the most famous. Shawn was abducted by her now late mother and his father David is trying to regain custody of his son; in France, the case that has alarmed the public is Elise’s, whose mother brought her to Russia. Both of these cases have seriously strained the relations between the US and Brazil and those of France with Russia. But when you are a non-custodial father in the US whose children have been abducted with the blessing of the family court system, your case does not bother a soul.

It should though, for there are  really no differences, as far as contacts between fathers and children are concerned,

Chloé's "supervised" birthday (2004)

Chloé's "supervised" birthday (2004)

between illegal and legal cases of abduction. Example: June 11 2009, was my daughter Chloé ‘s twelvth  birthday. As usual, I called. I was not expecting Chloé to pick up.  My girls never do. We have no direct, spontaneous phone exchanges. I leave a message, which perhaps would give rise to a call from my girls. On June 11, I could not leave a message . I was told that the number was disconnected. I then remember an email which my ex-wife sent me a few days before at work:

Please note: the contact # for Camille and Chloé Lacour is…then follows a number with a German area code.

Obviously, I called the German number and left a message. I never got any answer.

Folks, this is what I know. My girls are somewhere in Germany during  Summer.

What am I complaining about? My divorce agreement stipulates that when my ex-wife is abroad for more than two weeks, she has to tell me the whereabouts of the girls. She has never been so precise. Usually I am not even told where they are. And if I am not happy, I always can hire a family lawyer, go back to Manhattan family court and wait for another six years of trial to make my case! These fathers whose kids have been abducted by foreigners, they just have international conventions on abduction to protect them!

Anyway, happy birthday Chloé!

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I was not expecting to watch a good movie on a plane, especially in the category “society and family”. I was pleasantly surprised with “Anche Libero Va Bene” ( the english translation “Along the Ridge” is far from literal)  directed by Kim Rossi Stuart (2005). It starts with a single father taking care of his two kids, a daughter and a boy. In this movie, Italians seem like lucky people: there are no family courts, no orders of protection, no financial assessments of the spouses’ assets, no parent barred from the school where the kids go to. Interestingly enough, the parents are not perfect and the kids know that. The father is a caring tyrant, who wants his boy to become a champion swimmer while the boy would rather play soccer. In the end, the  father will come to grip with his boy’s desire, hence the title of the movie (“Midfielder is good too”). The mother is unfaithful. She has left her home and her kids, comes back and swears to be a good mother, take care of the kids and renounce her affairs. The children are not duped.  At some point, the boy  even tells a friend  that “her mother comes and goes”. Yet the kids want her back and do not judge her when she leaves home again.

To me, the blow-out scene is when the boy receives a letter – at school- from his  mother telling him that he is the only man she cares for and that she will explain later. I just have this blog to tell that sort of things to my girls.

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Let's Get Honest! Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

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