In the vast majority of Arapahoe cases, both parents of a minor child or children adhere to the conditions of any custody arrangements the parents are legally bound to follow. Modifications to child custody orders are generally made in court and adopted without major incident. Sometimes, however, one or both parents decide to take the law into their own hands.
Cases in which children are abducted can be very traumatic for the youngsters involved, as well as for parents and other family members who are left behind. This month, an arrest warrant was issued for a 22-year-old mother who allegedly absconded with her 2-year-old son instead of returning him to his father after her scheduled visitation. At the time of the abduction, the child's father had legal custody of the youngster.
When she was contacted by a local police detective on Feb. 5 and reminded of her obligation to the court-ordered custody agreement, the mother would not agree to return the boy to his father. She also refused to reveal her location, claiming she was worried about the safety of her son. However, police said that there was no evidence to confirm her allegations.
After the woman left with her son, police became concerned about the possibility of her leaving the state and maybe even the country. As a result, the Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the U.S. Marshal's Service became involved.
Child custody disputes often engender strong emotional responses from all the people involved. Nevertheless, guardians are most likely to avoid charges if they seek legal advice rather than choosing to flee with a child. To ensure that their sons and daughters are returned safely, parents need to inform authorities about the abduction as quickly as possible after the event.
Source: McAlester News-Capital, "Police seek mother, child in custody order violation case," James Beaty, Feb. 7, 2013
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