A 33-year-old woman was taken into custody in December 2013 on charges of allegedly kidnapping her two children, a 4-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy. On Jan. 14, the woman received a trial date of April 7. Her bond was set at $20,000. The father of the two children, who is a resident of Texas, was awarded custody of the children during the couple's divorce proceedings. The woman was taken into custody in New York after allegedly fleeing with the two children from Livingston County, Michigan, where the couple's divorce was finalized.
When handling shared custody issues, families in Texas and other states should consider how children are affected if one parent ignores an established arrangement. On Dec. 28, two California fathers were finally reunited with their abducted sons more than 18 months after the mother refused to return home from a court-authorized visit to Europe. After filing child concealment claims, the fathers were granted sole child custody by a U.S. court, and FBI officials secured an international warrant for the mother's arrest.
Families challenged by children with mental illness may be interested in a trend occurring in Texas, Illinois and other states. Known as a psychiatric "lockout," it is the practice of parents who refuse to allow a child to return home or to make living provision for them when they are discharged from a mental health facility. Believing that their children will receive needed mental health care in state custody that they are financially unable to provide, parents relinquish custody of the child.
Shortly after the Copperas Cove Police Department announced a suspected interference with a child custody case involving a missing child, the 2-year-old was returned to her grandparents. The toddler was taken from them by the biological mother on Oct. 23, but the grandparents had legal custody of the child.