A Louisiana woman has been arrested and charged with interfering in a child custody dispute. According to law enforcement, the 27-year-old Longview woman took her 4-year-old daughter. The child had been living with a couple who say they are her grandparents.
Officers from the Sabine Parish Sheriff's Office arrested the mother on July 11. At that time, her daughter had not yet been located. She was later found in Arkansas and reported to be safe. It was not reported specifically where or with whom the child was found. The defendant was believed to have taken her child.
Late last month, the woman signed over temporary custody of the girl to the reported grandparents, who live in Turnertown. However, the grandmother said that she had not seen the little girl in over a month. According to a July 17 report on the Longview, Texas, News-Journal website, a court in Gregg County awarded custody of the child to another family. It also noted that a civil procedure will be held in Arkansas to determine where the little girl will be placed.
Fortunately, most child custody situations are not this complicated. However, taking a child away from anyone who has been granted custody of that child without going through proper legal procedures is never the solution to a custody dispute. It can result in criminal charges and harm a parent's chance of ever gaining custody of the child again. Further, it will likely frighten or at the very least confuse the child. Louisiana family law attorneys can advise parents or other guardians on their best course of action and help represent their interests before the court.
Source: KYTX-TV, " UPDATE: 4-year-old found safe in Arkansas" Jul. 17, 2014