Texas parents who have been involved in disputes regarding the custody of their children certainly understand how emotional the issue can be. These parents also probably know that interfering with a court’s child custody ruling probably will not turn out well for them. Among the probable legal consequences is time in jail and possibly prison.
A 25-year-old Texas woman may be about to find out this tough fact the hard way. She was recently arrested in Georgia on charges of violating a custody order when she took her daughter from Rome, Georgia, last August to her home in Texas after her court-awarded visitation with the girl in Georgia ended. The girl’s father has legal custody.
Georgia authorities allege the woman refused to return her daughter at the father’s request. A warrant was issued last November for her arrest on charges of interfering with custody. She was then arrested in Texas and extradited to Georgia. She remains in the Floyd County jail in Georgia without bond.
When a court considers a custody request, it takes into account a variety of relevant factors, including the best interests of the child, before making a final determination. Generally, a judge will look at the living environments, jobs, and income of both parents, as well as any allegations of abuse, before awarding sole or joint custody. Both parents of a child are legally required to abide by custody orders, any visitation plan devised and offered to the non-custodial parent, and other child-related issues, including child support.
The failure of any parent to comply with court orders can lead to contempt charges and fines in addition to incarceration. Even one instance of interfering with a court order can be enough for a parent to be charged with criminal interference.
Source: NorthwestGeorgiaNews.com, “Texas woman accused of refusing to return daughter to Rome,” Alan Riquelmy, Feb. 27, 2015