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Abduction is not the way to challenge a child custody order

When couples divorce, it can be difficult for children to adjust to the change in family arrangements. For a California parent, being separated from his or her child or children may be far more distressing than being separated from his or her spouse. As a result, child custody issues can potentially be some of the most contentious. In some cases, a non-custodial parent may resort to extreme measures in an attempt to overturn court rulings.

This was highlighted by a recent case in Victorville in which the father had custody of his three children. It was reported that, late last year, the children's mother failed to return the children to their father. She abducted them, and, for some months, their location was unknown. Eventually, investigators discovered that the mother and her children were living in another state.

The San Bernardino County District Attorney's office made contact with the mother. Discussions ensued, leading to the mother agreeing to voluntarily surrender the children, who have since been returned to their father's care. The district attorney's office is now deciding whether criminal charges should be brought against the mother for the abduction.

It is not always easy for the courts to determine which parent should be awarded child custody; however, the judge will always put the best interests of the children first. A non-custodial parent may wish to challenge the decision made by the court but, in doing so, should adhere to the correct legal procedures. California parents going through divorce may require additional advice regarding custody and visitation or parental relocation matters if one parent intends to move to a different state.

Source: pe.com, "VICTORVILLE: 3 children reunited with father", Peter Surowski, Feb. 10, 2015

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