How to make things worse

Divorce can be difficult. It can be emotionally straining. It can be frustrating and financially exhausting. However, it can get worse. Imagine, if on top of all of those other issues you overlaid a criminal charge? And not just any criminal charge, like a DUI or an assault, but a criminal charge that goes to the very heart of a child custody order, like kidnapping your child.

This is a difficult topic. Parents can be territorial when it comes to their children and some feel as though they should be able to do with their children as they see fit. However, once you are embroiled in a divorce case with the child custody matters that follow, you are under the jurisdiction of the court. You also need to remember that the standard by which a judge will determine these issues is the best interests of the child.

For the system to function, it is important for the rule of law to prevail. Once the legislature or Missouri Supreme Court creates a law or interprets that law, it is the law of Missouri. A judge is bound to follow that law, as are all participants in a divorce case.

When a child custody arrangement is ordered by the court, both parents must abide by that order, and violating that order and taking your child during times when they should be in the custody of the other parent can have devastating consequences.

A man in Colorado last week apparently decided he would take his son with him to South Carolina, when he should have returned the boy to his mother, has led to his arrest on kidnapping charges. While he has not yet been charged with kidnapping, this action will likely color all aspects of any further court rulings.

A judge is going to be less likely to give him the benefit of the doubt on any custody issues and will likely impose very strict requirements for any visitation he may be allowed in the future.

Divorce can be a trying time but speak with your attorney if you need changes made to your custody order. Rash actions could haunt your custody issues far into the future.

Source:, “Father faces possible kidnapping charge in Breckenridge child custody case,” Kieran Nicholson, December 16, 2015

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