There are few things that can cause a greater level of contention between two individuals than struggles over the care and custody of a shared child. Divorced parents in Texas often go through years of difficulty as they divide parenting rights and responsibilities between them. In some cases, these struggles escalate to the point that the matter is brought back before a court, and one or both parents ask for a modification to an existing child custody order or agreement. In a recent case, the level of strife led to claims of parental kidnapping and the arrest of one parent.
The matter centers on the ongoing custody dispute between the parents of a 12-year-old boy. Last fall, the boy's father was awarded custody of the child, while the mother received visitation rights. Since that time, the parents have continued to argue over the care of their son. In late March, the two went before a court concerning the mother's fear that the boy's health was being compromised. The father claimed that the mother was in violation of a restraining order he received in early 2015, and that she was uncooperative about the location of the custody exchanges.
When a parent believes that his or her child is not being properly cared for, it can be easy to make rash decisions that are not in one's best legal interests. That appears to be the case for this mother, who boarded a flight with her son during a period in which she did not have visitation time. The mother is an attorney and certainly would have known that the consequences of violating the court-ordered custody plan would be dire.
When the flight landed, the mother was arrested and charged with felony child abduction. She will now have to address the criminal charges against her, which will undoubtedly fail to help her gain more access to her son. While there is little doubt that this mother loves her child and wants the best for him, the choices she made went against her own legal interests, and only served to complicate the matter. The case is a cautionary tale to parents in Texas or elsewhere who are fighting for child custody rights that any and all actions taken must be in full compliance with the law and all existing court orders.
Source: mynewsla.com, "Irvine attorney accused of kidnapping son involved in child custody struggle", John Schreiber, April 8, 2015