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Melissa A. Featherston

Woman arrested for interfering with child custody order

It may be of some interest to Missouri parents to know what consequences they can face if they violate a child custody order. In a recent case, a woman from another state is learning how serious courts consider a violation of such an order. She is now facing serious criminal charges. According to authorities, the woman has been wanted for her alleged violation of a child custody order for several years.

Apparently the woman secretly relocated with her child to a Midwestern state, despite the fact the children were the subject of a child custody order from a northwestern state. Police say they were ultimately able to find the woman after officials at the children's school in the Midwest attempted to contact the children's previous school. Officials say that the woman did not provide sufficient information when she attempted to enroll her children. After their mother's arrest on outstanding warrants for interfering with custody and kidnapping, the two children, identified as being an 11-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl, were temporarily placed into foster care.

Officials have stated that the children will be sent to live with their father. It is alleged that the woman originally left the State of Washington, where the custody order was made, in an effort to keep the children away from their father. The mother and her current husband asserted that the father is unfit to take care of the children. No statement has been made by the father regarding these allegations.

Adhering to a child custody agreement can be difficult for many Missouri parents. However, ignoring or defying a court order could result in serious consequences. Instead of taking matters into their own hands, Missouri residents may benefit from seeking a modification of the presiding order, if they feel that there has been a substantial change in circumstances. By seeking the proper court remedy, parents seek to protect their children's rights without subjecting themselves to potentially serious criminal accusations. In considering child custody disputes, courts strive to render decisions and orders that are deemed to be in the best interests of the children involved.

Source: Springfield News-Sun, "Woman wanted for 2 years in child custody case arrested," Mark McGregor, Aug. 18, 2012

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