Arizona residents may be interested to learn of a case that recently made headlines involving a 4-year-old child who was taken to Mexico by her mother, without the knowledge or consent of her father. No parent should ever experience the nightmare of waking up to find that their child has been taken by their spouse. However, these incidents do unfortunately occur sometimes in child custody disputes.
Luckily for the father in this case, the mother was apprehended by law enforcement. She was able to cross in and out of the border at least three times undetected, but was finally caught at the border and has been charged with interference with custody, which is a felony charge. The mother also reportedly had drug paraphernalia in her possession. The father was reportedly annoyed that an AMBER alert was not issued when he first reported the incident. The local sheriff explained that it is not normal procedure to issue an AMBER alert in custody disputes.
The father of the child is now seeking sole custody. He currently has primary custody of the child and his ex-wife is allowed supervised visitation, provided that her 18-year-old half-sister is present during visits.
It is difficult to obtain sole custody of a child, and such an order is usually only granted under extreme circumstances of neglect or abuse. It is possible that the father in this case may be granted sole custody, based on the behavior of the mother. However, the judge will ultimately decide the issue by determining what is in the best interests of the minor child. Issues involving child custody, visitation rights and child support can be emotionally charged and particularly complex. Getting the right information can help a parent get the best possible outcome in these types of cases.
Source: libertytribune.com, "Father seeks custody of child after mother heads for the border," Angie Anaya Borgedalen, Jan. 24, 2013