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Woman gets probation for child custody deprivation charge

Child custody cases can be complicated at best. The emotions involved, combined with the complicated task of dividing time with your children, mean that coming to an agreement on parenting time is often a difficult road. While California courts will consider the proposed parenting plan put forth by the separating spouses, ultimately the law looks to the best interests of the child when ruling on child custody issues.

Sometimes, it is not only the parents who have a stake in child custody determinations. Often, other loved ones, particularly grandparents, also have an interest in spending time with the children. A California U.S. Congressman was recently involved in a case in which his former daughter-in-law allegedly deprived him and his wife of the company of his grandchildren.

The woman and her husband took the children to Mexico in 2007, and stayed there for over three years. The couple recently pleaded no contest to the charge of child custody deprivation from the congressman and his wife, who had a right to see the children. A Superior Court Judge then sentenced both the woman and her husband to five years of probation as well as community service.

The couple plans to appeal the case. Their attorney has stated that if the appeal is successful the charges could be dismissed. Ultimately, in a child custody ruling, any parties given the legal right to visitation with children cannot be deprived of such right without serious consequences imposed on the wrongdoer. It is important to abide by child custody orders or go through the appropriate steps in order to obtain a child custody modification.

Source: Claremont Laverne Patch, "Congressmen's former daughter-in-law pleads no contest to child deprivation," Nov. 8, 2012

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