When a child goes missing, it’s a nightmare no family wants to have, but sometimes children do go missing when parents are in the midst of divorce or a child custody dispute. When there is the threat that a parent will illegally abduct a child, it is important to consider the legal options available to make sure children are kept with the correct guardian.
With these issues in mind, Austin residents may want to consider the case of two missing children, 16 and 4, who were found when their mother, 42, tried to cross the Roma International Bridge into Mexico. The mother was thought to have taken the girls without parental custody and without the permission of the girls’ fathers.
The border guards decided not to let the girls cross into Mexico after a brief investigation showed a possible match for a warrant on the mother. Further biometric checks and use of law-enforcement databases confirmed that the two children were missing persons.
The girls were released to the Roma, Texas, police department before being transferred into the custody of Child Protective Services. Their mother was arrested and released to the police department until her extradition to the girls’ home state of Missouri.
It’s important to consider the rights of all parents when there is a custody battle or divorce settlement taking place. Circumventing the proper legal channels is a mistake and could cost parents their parental rights. A better idea is to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can help create a child custody plan that is in the best interests of the children.
Source: Government Security News, “Biometric check at border leads to missing children,” Mark Rockwell, Dec. 24, 2012