When parents decide to go their separate ways, decisions regarding child custody must be made. In most cases, the parents keep the best interests of the child in mind, and an agreement can be reached. However, in cases where an agreement cannot be reached, one parent might do something rash and end up on the wrong end of the law. A man in Northfield, Minnesota, is finding out exactly how detrimental not following a child custody agreement -- even when it's merely verbal -- can be.
The 23-year-old man is accused of felony kidnapping and concealing a minor. The charges stem from an incident where the man was supposed to drop his child off at daycare after an overnight visit, per a verbal agreement with the child's mother. The mother went to pick the child up from daycare that afternoon only to find out that the father had already taken her. After attempting but failing to reach the father and another of his family members by phone, the mother went to the authorities.
Local authorities sent out alerts to law enforcement in several states to be on the lookout for the father and child. They were located during a traffic stop later that evening. Authorities returned the child to the mother, and the father was arrested. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison.
In most cases, both parents have a right to spend time with their children. If a parent feels they are being denied visitation rights, that parent should become familiar with the rights of a noncustodial parent and, if desired, learn what would be required for a custody agreement modification.
Source: Northfield News, "Northfield man faces charges in custody dispute," Jaci Smith, Feb. 1, 2013