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International child custody battle reaches conclusion

On Behalf of | Dec 31, 2013 | Child Custody and Visitation

For California couples who are facing a divorce or separation, and who share children, it is important for both parties to always keep in mind that the children’s interests must come first. Allowing pride or a sense of needing to win to take precedence over the well-being of one’s children can be catastrophic. It can permanently damage the children, both emotionally and perhaps physically, but it can also lead to serious trouble with authorities. One international child custody case exemplifies all of the above.
A woman who apparently was married to but separated from one man, and had a child with him along with a child from another man, fled the United states roughly 18 months ago in an attempt to keep both children from their fathers. While the month-long trip was originally sanctioned by both fathers, the mother delayed her return time and time again and then eventually disappeared. She settled in a small town at one point and enrolled both boys in school under false names and grew their hair out, obviously in an attempt to hide their identities.
Both fathers made repeated complaints in California. While the children were technically not within reach, each father was granted sole physical and legal custody of their respective son. Meanwhile, an international arrest warrant was issued for the boys’ mother. She has since been arrested and is awaiting a possible extradition.
This is just one of many examples of why it is so important to take and keep a balanced approach in child custody cases. Children are impressionable and vulnerable, and the experiences that these two young boys have had will likely be with them for some time to come. Parents would do well to show respect for each other and show dignity in their actions. Many parents in California who worry that they will not be able to do so would do well to seek out assistance from an impartial third party who can help find a solution that works for their particular family.
Source:, Abducted children return to Los Angeles with their fathers, Brenda Gazzar, Dec. 28, 2013