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Barbara L. Jouette, Attorney, P.C.
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Disobedience of child custody orders can lead to serious charges

Most Texas parents are likely aware that in many cases, a custody order is put in place by the court to assure that children have a good chance at a loving, stable relationship with their families. In cases where adult parties may not always agree on what is in the best interest of a child, the court will decide the child custody and visitation terms. While in most circumstances, child custody orders are put into place between parents, grandparents and other family members, on occasion, the state becomes involved. Such cases are common when a parent is suspected of placing a child in harm's way. 

Recently, a Texas mother was ordered to surrender her child to Child Protective Services. Instead of obeying the order, she made the decision to attempt to evade the authorities and go on the run with her child. While certainly, most mothers would be frightened at the prospect of losing custody of their children, when a court issues such an order, it must be taken seriously. 

When the woman failed to surrender the child to CPS, the child was listed as a missing person. Authorities did their best to locate the mother and child, but were unable to catch up with her after tracking them to several locations. Hours later, she contacted authorities and informed them that she wished to surrender. She was charged with several crimes, including interference with child custody, which is a felony in Texas. 

While child custody orders may sometimes not be to the liking of the parties involved, blatantly attempting to disobey them is never a good option. Serious legal ramifications will only complicate matters further, and criminal court convictions may be used against the parent in future custody proceedings. Persons who find themselves unwilling to abide by a child custody order may benefit from seeking the aid of an experienced attorney, who can often advocate for both parents and children as they attempt to navigate the court system, and may be able to assist in the reunification of parents and children. 

Source: ktre.com, "Nacogdoches County woman who went on run with baby surrenders to authorities", April 23, 2018

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