In a case that has grabbed the attention of fathers’ rights advocates in Texas and across the nation, two fathers were reunited with their two boys in late December after their mother allegedly kidnapped the two half-brothers and took them to Europe for 18 months. International and national law enforcement agencies searched for the 32-year-old mother who allegedly violated child custody orders and changed the boys names and looks. While in France, the mother put the boys in school under new identities. She also changed their appearance and grew their hair out.
The mother received court permission to take the boys out of the country but kept delaying her return until she was finally apprehended in France. The courts eventually awarded custody of them to her two ex-husbands. The boys, 4 and 10, were returned to LAX where they were reunited with their fathers.
In August, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed criminal charges against the mother, a Slovakian who has legal residency, for felony child detention. While the courts are seeking extradition, she could decide to return to this country of her own volition. The prosecutor’s office is continuing to work the case. The mother knew she was defying the court order but felt that the 4-year-old was in jeopardy from his father. He has vehemently denied her claims. The father stated that he hopes his son can have a relationship with his mother once the criminal charges are resolved.
When a father is fighting for visitation rights or custody of his child, he could find himself facing an uphill battle. A family lawyer might be able to help clients with visitation or custody.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Fathers Reunited With Their Kids 18 Months After Kidnapping“, Brenda Gazzar, December 30, 2013