Parental Abduction to Avoid Shared Custody

Q: Can I just flee an abusive ex-spouse with my child to avoid sharing custody?

Arizona family law attorneys know that most parents would do just about anything for their children or grandchildren. Sometimes, even if it was illegal.

After getting a divorce in Arizona, many couples have a fresh start towards a happier life. But that isn’t the case for all.

When it comes to child custody and visitation, known in Arizona as “legal decision-making” and “parenting time”, respectively, it’s not uncommon for divorced couples to have disputes. Generally, the courts support the presumption that both parents should enjoy legal decision-making authority jointly as well as share parenting time so long as that’s in the best interest of the child.

Unfortunately, circumstances may arise or factors develop that require a parent to seek a modification order with respect to custody and visitation. Allegations of domestic violence may be one of many factors that lead a parent to seek a modification.

Sadly, some parents take matters into their own hands rather than seek court intervention and may find themselves and those who assist them to be in legal hot water.

According to police, the parents of a 19-year-old mother of a one-year-old son may be facing charges for their alleged involvement in what police believe is their daughter’s alleged abduction of the child to avoid sharing custody of him with his father.

Reportedly, the mother allegedly withdrew a large sum of money from the bank the day before having a friend over to dye her daughter’s hair while her toddler grandson– wearing a dress and hair bow–was nearby. Police records also indicate the family friend said there were comments made about an “upcoming vacation” claiming “the less she knew about it the better” prior to the young mother and child allegedly leaving the house that night.

Reportedly, the father’s involvement was filing the initial missing person report.

In addition, searches of household electronic devices allegedly “discovered that a search for “fleeing an abuser with your child” was found on the young mother’s computer, according to police.

The young mother and her son have not yet been found.

If you or a loved one is a domestic violence victim or need to seek a modification order regarding child custody or visitation, or any other matter, Cohen Family Law can help you. Contact us today for a free consultation.

From our offices in Phoenix, we’ve been helping families in transition throughout Arizona since 1982.