Centuori & Alcoverde, P.C.

When Arizona parents are unable to reach an agreement on how to divide parenting time, emotions often run high. This is a dangerous time, when one or both parents can make decisions that are based on emotion rather than reason. A misstep during this critical time can seriously hinder a parent's ability to obtain a favorable child custody outcome.

An example is found in a West Coast case involving a father who made a series of questionable decisions about how to approach his child custody rights. After obtaining the consent of his seven-year-old daughter's mother, he took the girl on an out-of-state trip. When the time came to return the girl home, the father decided that he wanted to keep his daughter in his care. At that point, there was no child custody agreement in place between the parents. When he notified the mother of his intent, she immediately approached the court and filed for custody.

The father was notified, but he did not appear. This led to the mother being granted full custody rights, and it opened the door for her to approach law enforcement to ask for the forced return of her child. A felony child abduction warrant followed, and officers were able to locate the father and daughter and remove the child. Officers noted that the child seemed healthy and thriving in her dad's care.

Had the father chosen a different course of action, he may have had a far better chance of attaining a fair and balanced child custody settlement. However, he is now saddled with a felony charge for child abduction, which will make it difficult for him to convince a court that he should be allowed unsupervised visitation with his daughter. For Arizona parents reading this account, the story serves as a warning about allowing one's emotions to overrun reason.

Source: newswest9.com, "West coast search ends in Texoma", Samantha Forester, July 22, 2016

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