Noncustodial Mother, Children Stopped at Border

Sometimes parents who lose custody disputes don't agree with the courts' decisions and take matters into their own hands. When a noncustodial parent has unsupervised visitation, it is critical for the custodial parent to remain vigilant and strict about return times. However, in some cases, this is not enough. A recent alleged kidnapping by a noncustodial mother demonstrates the exercise of child custody rights in action.

A woman tried to cross the southern U.S. border with her two daughters, ages 4 and 16, but was stopped at a police checkpoint and turned back because they were missing passports. When the mother attempted to cross the border at Roma, Texas U.S. Customs agents recognized her vehicle. Upon searching it, they found a crack pipe and arrested the mother. The girls were taken into custody by Texas Child Protective Services.

The girls' two fathers had full legal custody and had both attempted to report the children missing after the mother did not return them. The fathers both say that they were told the girls' disappearance was a civil matter, not a criminal one. Neither case was upgraded to a missing persons case for five days. Both fathers have traveled to the Mexican border region to bring their daughters back home.

While these girls disappeared from Missouri, children in the Houston area are equally vulnerable to such actions by noncustodial parents. Sometimes police do not address custody issues in a timely fashion, so if a parent is concerned about his or her child's safety, it's critical to exercise every legal option possible to get a child back.

Source: Fox4KC.com, "Metro dad reunited with daughter following custody dispute disappearance," Rob Low and Jason M. Vaughn, Dec. 20, 2012

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