When Parents Divorce Some Are Unhappy With Custody Orders

Parents who don’t agree with court-ordered custody and visitation agreements when they divorce sometimes take illegal action. Divorced couples in New Jersey and around the country should be aware of how far a parent will go to violate the court’s orders in some circumstances.

In a recent parental abduction case, according to the FBI, a mother from Los Angeles took her two sons, each from a different father, on a trip to Europe. The Slovakian mother was to return the boys to their dads upon her return to the U.S. Instead, she changed the boys’ names and appearances, enrolled them in a school in France, and apparently planned to stay.

When the boys were not returned at the designated time, her ex-husbands contacted authorities who engaged the FBI in an international manhunt for the woman and the boys. She was arrested at the school, and the boys were returned to their fathers by order of a French judge. The fathers hadn’t seen their sons, 4 and 10-years-old, in over 18 months. The search for the boys was conducted by local police and Interpol in addition to the FBI. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office plans to ask France for her extradition to face charges, but authorities believe she will return on her own.

When couples with children seek a divorce, a judge orders a custody and visitation agreement. The court order is usually made in accordance with what the judge deems to be in the best interest of the children. Parents who are unsatisfied with the agreement sometimes break the rules, even though it is a legal arrangement. If this occurs, a family law attorney may be able to help the parent whose visitation or custody order has been violated by alerting the proper courts and issuing another mandate.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Fathers Reunited With Their Kids 18 Months After Kidnapping“, Brenda Gazzar, December 30, 2013