Determining the custody of a child can be one of the most difficult issues in a divorce proceeding. The parents can come to an agreement amongst themselves, but many times a court will be asked to make the decisions for them. Nevertheless, a child custody or visitation agreement reached may not be satisfactory to all parties. Even so, it is important that each parent abide by the order of the court and do not take matters into their own hands.
A recent case in Georgia illustrates how serious these situations can become. The parents were married in the United States and had a son. The father, formally from the Czech Republic, had moved to the United States while his country was still under communist rule. Eventually, the marriage dissolved.
The mother moved with the son to the Czech Republic with the father's consent. The father, while visiting his former country, took the son without consent to the state of Georgia and was granted a divorce and sole custody of the son. When the mother found out, she moved to Georgia and fought for custody. She was granted permanent primary custody of the son in 2011, with the father having visitation rights.
After he was held in contempt for failure to pay child support, the father didn't return the son to his mother after a visit and instead left the country with him. The young boy is still missing.
A child custody arrangement can create an unsatisfactory situation for one or both of the parents. However, it is important that all interested parties follow the agreement and only attempt to modify it through the courts.
Source: Athens Banner-Herald, "Athens couple agonizes over kidnapped child," Joe Johnson, Oct. 7, 2012