Child custody problems sometimes lead to criminal charges

Not all California parents are able to resolve their differences pertaining to signed parenting agreements with former lovers or spouses. Some child custody situations are quite complex and many include allegations of abuse or even criminal charges. A woman in another state is in the latter category but was recently relieved when the judge hearing her case ruled she will not have to go to jail.

An attorney representing the woman said she is a good person and parent who simply made a mistake. Several years ago, she took her son out of the United States without first seeking the court's approval while custody proceedings regarding her child remained ongoing at the time. The woman later said she felt her actions were needed to protect her son.

The woman returned to the United States in 2016 and was arrested at a Honolulu airport. She has not been permitted to see her infant son since her arrest. The judge allowed her to plead no contest to avoid a prison sentence. The mother now awaits a family court's decision as to whether she will be allowed to see her child again.

The woman has been sentenced to four years probation for the criminal conviction related to the child custody situation. While not every California custody case involves criminal prosecution, many parents face similar problems where they believe their children are in danger when in the presence of their other parent. An experienced family law attorney can help a concerned parent take appropriate steps to address such matters in court.

Source:, "Woman who fled to Japan with son amid custody battle avoids jail time", Mahealani Richardson, Dec. 14, 2017

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