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Barbara L. Jouette, Attorney, P.C.
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Staged abduction will likely cost mom custody of her child

Some situations dictate the need for a more responsible individual to look out for the best interests of a child. Circumstances such as one or both parents mistreating the child, using drugs or abusing alcohol could give the courts just cause to remove a child from the care of their parents. When neither parent is capable of properly caring for a child, family law courts in Texas and other U.S. states may award custody to another family member or to an outside party.

One family should be feeling relief and celebrating after a missing mother and daughter were located unharmed recently, but instead, they have been left with many questions and are preparing to seek custody of the 4-year-old girl. This unusual case will likely finish playing out in a family law court with the child's grandmother seeking to invoke her grandparents' rights and be granted custody of her grand-daughter after the child's mother faked their abduction and disappearance.

A hearing in this case will likely argue the parents, specifically the mother, are unfit to raise the child based on this incident. Authorities found evidence the parents were smoking synthetic marijuana in close proximity to the child during the faked abduction. In addition, the father has a history of domestic violence and has been charged with domestic assault on more than one occasion involving other women. Based on his background, it's probable the family will argue the young girl could have been in immediate danger as a result of her mother's actions.

When children are placed at risk by their parents, it may fall upon grandparents to step in and take legal action. Grandparents who are considering a custody petition may want to speak with an attorney for legal guidance.

Source: 3 Kiii TV, "Sheriff says missing Mo. mom staged disappearance", Bill Draper, March 19, 2013

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