In family law cases, exactly who is the father of a child is sometimes unclear in the beginning. Potential fathers must sometimes undergo a paternity test to begin the process of obtaining visitation or custody rights. Without those rights, taking a child without legal custody can warrant a criminal charge of child abduction.
Readers in the Denver area may be interested in recent events related to an abduction case. Courts have filed an order for the safe return of a 2-year-old girl who was taken to a park by a potential father who, along with the child, never returned.
The child's mother said that the man's family called and told her that he was in Stuart, Iowa, but authorities have failed to find the child and have informed the mother that finding the child will be difficult. At the time of a Sept. 8 report, no Amber Alert had yet been issued.
The mother and potential father filed a petition on May 10 in a Pittsburg County, Oklahoma, court for purposes of establishing custody, paternity, and other child-related matters. No agreement was reached at that time, and the man who took the child to the park has no legal right to her care or custody.
Establishing paternity and setting up a visitation or custody schedule is paramount when parents do not live together. Parents in such a situation should take the proper channels to obtain as much information as possible about their rights and responsibilities, as well as always keep the best interests of the child in mind.
Source: McAlester News-Capital, "Court order filed seeking return of missing McAlester child," M.J. Brickey, Sept. 8, 2012
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