Decisions revolving around children are often the most difficult to make in the event of a divorce. The custody of children is based on what is in their best interests. Should the circumstances establishing the original order change, or the order is violated, one or both of the parents may be entitled to seek an order for child custody modification.
A Georgia man was recently arrested after failing to return his daughter to her mother, the custodial parent, by the deadline agreed to between authorities and him. After not returning the child to her mother by the time stated in the divorce decree, the man stated that he would return her at a later date. When he failed to return the child on that day as well, he informed authorities that he would return the child after being allowed to meet with the custodial parent to discuss what he felt were subpar living conditions for his child. While authorities attempted to arrange the meeting, the man stated that he had another appointment and would wait for the custodial parent to agree to a time agreeable to him, while the child would remain with him. Officials then arrested him and charged him with interference with custody.
A child custody arrangement governs which parent has custody of a child and when they have custody. The most common arrangement is that one parent is granted physical custody of a child and the child will live with them the majority of the time. They are considered the custodial parent. The other parent retains visitation rights and often retains legal custody, which is the right to make important decisions regarding the child.
In this case, the mother is the custodial parent and the father has visitation rights with their daughter. The man refused to return the child to the mother at the date and time established in the divorce decree, stating that he wanted to speak to the mother to address concerns about the child's living arrangements. This refusal is considered interference with the custody arrangement and is a violation of both criminal and civil law and violates the custody order. Such action may allow the mother to modify the custody arrangement for the father's failure to live up to his obligations established in the original order.
Source: East Cobb Patch, "Warrant: Man Kept East Cobb Child," Rodney Thrash, May 23, 2013