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Mother elopes with child after custody dispute with ex-husband

In Virginia and the rest of the United States, a battle for child custody during divorce is often more contentious than property division.

In a recent child custody dispute in another state, for example, police have issued a felony warrant for a 32-year-old mother who is accused of secretly entering her 12-year-old son's school on Valentine's Day and fleeing the area with him. Her alleged action violates state court orders and is seen as interference with child custody. According to Fpolice, the boy and two younger brothers, aged seven and eight, were spotted in yet another state, more than 300 miles away from where the allegedly abducted boy lives with his father.

Embroiled in a bitter child-custody dispute with his estranged wife, the father said he only found out about his son's disappearance when he went to pick him up from school. His ex-wife was on a list of people who were not allowed to pick up his son.

The father also said he had not seen his two younger sons since his wife disappeared with them five months earlier. He expressed fear for the safety of his children because of his wife's boyfriend. According to authorities, both the wife and her boyfriend have active arrest warrants and criminal histories.

Like anywhere else in the country, any violation of a court order pertaining to child custody and visitation is considered a serious offense. Parents need to understand that the only way to exercise parental rights is through a judgment issued by a court in the state that has jurisdiction.

In Virginia, courts award sole custody, joint custody, split custody or a combination of these arrangements. A person who wants to have the arrangement modified should consult with a lawyer to find out about the options available instead of acting illegally.

Source: NBC South Florida, "Arrest Warrant Obtained for Mother Accused of Taking Son From Cutler Bay School: Police," Gilma Avalos, Feb. 18, 2014

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