Father accused of abducting 2-year-old in child custody dispute

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Family Law on Thursday, May 8, 2014.

As many residents of Missouri will agree, families are rarely simple. As time goes on and a family shrinks and grows through births, deaths, marriages and divorces, the dynamic of the family unit can change dramatically. When disputes arise, they can rapidly become bitter and may need to be settled in a family court. Disagreements over children are one of the common causes of such disputes.

When parents separate, coming to an agreement over the time each gets to spend with their children can be tough. This is especially so if the parents are on bad terms with each other. A child-custody-related matter arose in Idaho recently in which the father of a 2-year-old girl has been accused of violating the terms of a custody agreement.

It is alleged that the 38-year-old father took the little girl with him to the state of Washington instead of returning her to her mother following a visitation with the child. The child’s mother did not have a formal ruling designating her as the girl’s legal custodian. She reportedly filed for custody in January.

While the woman had no official ruling from the court granting her legal custody, she and the father had a verbal joint custody agreement, according to her. It was this purported agreement which was allegedly breached by the father’s abduction of the child. He now faces allegations of custodial interference. This is a felony charge that could result in a prison term of up to five years under Idaho law.

While this incident happened out of state, it serves as a warning to parents in Missouri. When disputes over child custody arise, it is often the child who suffers most. It is vital that separated/divorced parents attempt to reach an agreement that is in the best interests of their child, even if they don’t get along with each other. It is also important for them to follow agreements that they reach.

An attorney may be able to help you procure a child custody arrangement that is both fair and suitable.

Source: Idaho Mountain Express, “Felony charged in child-custody dispute,” April 30, 2014

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