Parents who are denied the child custody arrangement they sought in a divorce sometimes resort to desperate measures to get more time with their children. Unfortunately, that can result in serious consequences for all involved -- most importantly for the children. A recent case in Colorado provides a sad example.
The situation began last December when a Wellington woman failed to turn over her children to their fathers during scheduled custody exchanges. The first hint that something was wrong came when the mother did not show up to turn her 6-year-old daughter over to the girl's father on Dec. 5. She failed to show up with her younger daughter the following week to turn her over to her father as scheduled.
After the woman missed the first custody exchange, investigators in Larimer County went to the woman's home. They said that she, her husband and the two girls seemed to have vacated the home quickly.
After months of investigation, the family was found in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The children were reported to be safe. The two adults were arrested by Mexican Immigration, and all four were brought back to Denver. The woman and her husband were taken into custody by sheriff's officers upon their return.
Both the girls' mother and her husband were charged with violating custody as well as fleeing illegally to avoid prosecution. The mother has also been charged with obstructing a court order.
The fathers reunited with their daughters when they arrived at Denver International Airport. The children were reportedly not harmed during the ordeal. The father-daughter reunions seem to have been joyful. One father said that "it seems like we haven`t missed a single day." The other said that his daughter "came into the room and welcomed me with open arms."
When Colorado parents are not happy with the custody arrangement involving their children, there are steps that they can take to try to amend the arrangement. No matter how frustrating the situation, violating the custody terms, even if it doesn't involve something as drastic as leaving the country, is never the right solution. It is likely to lead to even less time with your children, legal penalties and unnecessary stress for the kids. Talk with your family law attorney to determine what your legal options are.
Source: Fox 31 Denver, "Two missing Colorado girls found safe in Mexico; returned to fathers," Chuck Hickey and Rob Low, July 09, 2015