Episode 35. Michelle Littleton


Michelle Littleton’s three children, ages 6, 13, 14, were taken to Lebanon by their father on Jan. 4, 2017. The father, Mazen Fawzi Matar, has refused to return the children, despite a federal kidnapping charge and a demand to return order from the Orange Co. Superior Court. Michelle hired an attorney in Lebanon, and has won two court judgement’s in favor of the children’s concern. Notably, the December 26, 2017 ruling in Sharia law court also affirmed the mother’s full custody status and the children’s return to America will need to be won in the Lebanese Civil court proceedings coming up. Michelle has also been campaigning in the U.S. and has met with many politicians calling for law reform and assistance.

******UPDATE. Since recording this episode, just 2 days before it aired, Michelle was able to talk to her children on the phone for the first time*********

Also, should LBP’s just be grateful that they had kids and just ‘buck up and move on’? This was a comment that was made to me on my Facebook page during the week that I wanted to address.

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9 Replies to “Episode 35. Michelle Littleton”

  1. “Every year, 600-800 more children are abducted by a parent from the United States. Every year, less than 20% come home. The Goldman Act requires the State Department to disclose the abduction records of countries that fail to return American children. The resulting report recognizes the suffering of American families, puts pressure on recalcitrant countries to cooperate, and prevents future abductions by warning family court judges which countries are unsafe. Accurate reporting is one of our best tools to prevent and resolve international parental child abduction – and yet the report leaves children behind, especially in Japan. This hearing will focus on ways that the State Department can more effectively use the annual Goldman Act Report to leave no child behind.”

  2. Most societies recognize crimes against children, however lines are blurred when a crime is committed by a parent or a family member, instead of a stranger.

    International parental child abduction (“IPCA”), is the illegal removal of children from their home by a “taking” parent to a foreign country. The “taking” parent is either violating existing custodial order or custodial rights of the other parent (children are taken without the other parent’s consent), and wrongfully retained in a foreign country.

  3. May 16, 2018 – In a recent article, Florida Today profiled Michelle Littleton, a mother whose children were abducted to Lebanon by their father last year. The “Goldman Act,” authored by Rep. Chris Smith, “gives more teeth to requests for the return of abducted children,” reported Florida Today.

    “Congress in 2014 unanimously passed the Goldman Act, named after Sean Goldman, who was returned to his father in 2008 five years after his mother took him to Brazil. The law gives more teeth to requests for the return of abducted children, including withdrawing financial assistance to a country, but enforcement has been lax. The issue was subject of April hearings in the U.S. House and Senate where lawmakers pressed State Department officials for more action,” reported Florida Today.

    Nearly 11,000 children were unlawfully removed from their country of residence by one of their parents between 2008 and 2017, according to the office of New Jersey U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, who sponsored the Goldman Act. Only 16 percent of open child abduction cases in 2016 were resolved with the child being returned to the U.S., according to the State Department

  4. Hello and welcome to the page for Florida’s Left Behind Parents. If you or someone you know is a left behind parent, please share this page with them. It is estimated that there are 101 outgoing international abductions from Florida per year. It is time this crisis is acknowledged in Washington D.C. so we can save future generations from this traumatic life altering crime. It is crucial that we stand together to make sure our voices are heard.
    My children were abducted to Lebanon on January 4, 2017. I am fighting to bring them home. Until then, I remain a virtual prisoner of IPCA.
    I will update our page as new media stories of cases and data comes along.
    Thank you for taking your time to help fight against IPCA. Please feel free to contact with any questions or comments.
    Warm regards,
    Michelle Littleton

  5. Lawyers make money out of accusations, conflict and litigation. They advise / promote aggression. They sell a blackmarket product called “the windmill”. It is destructive, expensive and violent. It is common because it fools the courts and makes money. It costs you your child, family, friends, house, job, income (and worse). It is illegal. It breaches the Children’s Act. Your own lawyer will not tell you or stop it. S/he also makes money out of it.

  6. The fourth International Conference on Shared Parenting will be held in Strasbourg, France, on November 22d and 23th, 2018, at Palais de l’Europe. The theme of this conference is: Shared Parenting, Social Justice and Children´s Rights.

    The conference is organized under the auspices of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland. It is also supported by the City of Strasbourg, the University of Strasbourg and the Jardin des Sciences.

    The conference intends to report how, within judicial systems and social work practices, both parents are recognized as vital in their children’s lives, even after separation and divorce. It will explore how shared parenting seems a means for keeping with the principles and articles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Thus, a focus of the conference is to stress how shared parenting, viewed as in the best interests of children of separated parents, is a crucial issue for practitioners and policymakers around the globe, regarding the alignment of national law and practices with the articles of the UN CRC

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