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Child custody is best approached using legal means

Parents are often willing to go to extreme lengths for their children. As powerful as those feelings may be, child custody matters are best dealt with within the boundaries of the legal system. One California resident is reported to have taken matters into her own hands and, it is suggested, may have abducted her sons during a recent visit. The FBI is reported to be trying to trace the woman and her children.

The parents divorced in 2009, and, at first, they shared custody of the two boys. In 2013, the mother attempted to take the boys out of the country illegally, but her plan was foiled before they were able to travel; she was later charged with custodial interference. Following this, the father was awarded full custody of the boys in 2014. He currently resides in Washington state with the boys, and, on this occasion, the boys were supposed to be having a supervised visit with their mother in California.

It has now been suggested that the court order for this visit may have been forged. Attempts have been made by the family to contact both the mother and the boys but to no avail. A letter found at the mother's home appears to suggest that she blames the father for attempting to control her and the boys. A felony warrant has now been issued for the mother by Washington state for custodial interference.

While this is a shocking case, thankfully, such occurrences are rare. It is more common for parents to be able to come to mutually beneficial agreements for child custody arrangements. When there are genuine concerns about a spouse's intentions during visitation, it would be wise to get the advice appropriate to the individual circumstances, as each state has different laws relating to child custody. Failure to adhere to such agreements could have serious consequences both legally and personally, as illegal actions may also cause damage to one's relationships with one's children.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "FBI seeks public's help in finding boys in alleged parental abduction case", Hailey Branson-Potts, Oct. 2, 2015

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