Some child custody battles become international incidents

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Custody on Thursday, August 4, 2016.

Missouri parents facing child custody issues often face significant challenges. Communication barriers can lead to contentious child custody battles that evoke strong emotions on both sides. On occasion, those disputes erupt into international disputes, including allegations of criminal conduct.

In 1993, President Clinton signed a new law pertaining to international parental kidnapping. At the time, the president stated that such situations should only be prosecuted if those involved were unable to resolve the matters at the civil level. The law was reportedly enacted after situations began to arise where parents who feared losing custody battles in the United States fled the country with the children.

A parent whose child has been take outside the nation’s borders during a custody battle by a disgruntled former spouse may wonder where to turn for help to make certain the child is brought back. The parental kidnapping law provided a certain amount of leverage to such parents, who then knew that federal prosecutions were possible. In fact, one young girl was recently brought back to the United States, and her father now faces a federal kidnapping indictment carrying a possible 3-year prison sentence.

Most Missouri parents want what is best for their children in all matters related to child custody. However, if a former spouse refuses to cooperate, a situation can quickly become hostile. When more than one country is involved, the stakes are clearly higher. In such circumstances, it is advisable to seek immediate representation from an experienced family law attorney to guide one through the process of taking swift and appropriate action.

Source:, “Custody battle involving retired Air Force dad crosses globe“, Samuel Howard, July 31, 2016

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