It's not uncommon for divorced parents to disagree on terms of child custody. Parents who are denied the level of custody or visitation that they seek after no longer living with their children often feel resentful toward the custodial parent. They may also have fears that their children won't love them as much without more time spent together. In some cases, these fears lead parents to make irrational and even illegal decisions.
A woman living in San Marcos, Texas, knows this scenario all too well. A child custody battle with her ex-husband finally came to an end last week when she was reunited with her 3-year-old daughter, who had been abducted by her father and taken to Mexico. The father's flight to his home country sparked an 11-month ordeal made more difficult by the national boundary that separated them.
It was in January of last year when the two parents met up for a child custody exchange. The mother dropped the girl off to her father in a church parking lot for a seemingly routine visit. But three days later, her ex-husband called her from Mexico, saying he planned to stay there with their daughter. The couple's child custody order prohibited the man from taking his daughter outside of Texas, and his phone call sparked a massive investigation into the father and daughter's whereabouts.
Contributing to the effort to bring the girl home was Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, which worked through Mexico's court system to straighten out the custody mess. Although the father's whereabouts remain unknown, a Mexican court ruled against him in the custody case the mother filed, and her daughter returned to the United States last week.
The mother expressed gratitude for the legal assistance, which is designed to help low-income Texas residents. A family law attorney who focuses on child custody issues can be invaluable in unlawful situations like these, where parents may not know where to turn or whom to ask for help.
Source: San Marcos Mercury, "Child reunited with mother after Mexican court ruling," Dec. 11, 2012
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