Child custody disputes in Mississippi and throughout the country center on the best interests of the children. The problem is not everyone agrees what constitutes those best interests. Sometimes each parent has differing views and the court has a third view. If guardians are appointed to protect the interests of the children, additional views come into the picture.
In 2007, a California woman fled the United States with her three children that she had with the son of a US congressman. The acrimonious custody battle she was fighting with their father had been momentarily resolved when the mother agreed to an order of temporary custody in favor of the congressman and his wife. She was supposed to deliver the children to the congressman's house hours later. Instead she and her new husband bought a car and wound up in Mexico the next day. They woke up in Tijuana to learn the case was receiving international headlines
Carving out a new life for themselves in Mexico, the woman taught English and her husband played professional basketball locally. They changed their names, as well as the first names of each of the children. In 2008, the mother sent a letter to the Los Angeles District Attorney saying she took the children to protect them from an abusive father, a fact disputed by the congressman and his son. After the birth of a baby girl, they moved to a different Mexican town in 2011. The move resulted in an interaction with a customs official, who discovered their true identity.
Mexican authorities deported the family, delivering them to the US border where authorities placed the mother under arrest for three felony counts of child custody deprivation. She has since posted bail and the children are in the custody of child protective services. The baby girl is in the custody of the second husband.
The case will now move forward on two fronts. The mother is prepared to fight the child custody deprivation charges and most likely the child custody issues will be revisited. It remains to be seen what impact the abduction will have on the child custody claims.
Source: Fox News, "Mom accused of taking US rep's grandsons speaks up," Aug. 18, 2011