Coming to terms with a custody determination can be challenging, even for parents who part ways amicably. For those who end their relationship with a significant amount of acrimony, adjusting to a child custody change can be even more difficult. It’s imperative for California parents to understand, however, that impulsive decisions can have lasting ramifications.
An example is found in the case of a man who chose to pick up his son from school without permission from the child’s mother, at a time outside of his custody schedule. When contacted by the mother, he refused to bring the child back home. That prompted her to contact the authorities.
When a state trooper arrived, the mother was able to produce a domestic order of protection that clearly showed her right to custody outside of the father’s weekend visitation schedule. She also told the trooper that the father had made a previous threat to leave the state with the child. The trooper helped her arrange a place and time to pick up the child, but when she and the trooper arrived, the father never showed up.
That led the trooper to try and call the father, but he was only able to leave a message. That, in turn, provoked the father to threaten the mother by phone. The child was eventually returned to his mother’s care.
As for the father, he was arraigned on charges of child concealment, which is a felony in his state of residence. He’s also been ordered to stay away from the child’s school and obey a no-contact order. His future access to his child could be severely limited based on an impulsive decision. That should serve as a cautionary tale to California parents who entertain the thought of similar actions in their own child custody case.