When disputes erupt regarding child custody, it is easy to let your emotions get the best of you. After all, these are your kids. It is hard for many parents to come to grips with the fact that they will not be spending every night under the same roof any more.
Unfortunately, as the case of one Minnesota mother demonstrates, taking the law into your own hands will have the opposite outcome of what you hoped for.
The 50-year-old woman was recently sentenced to eight months in prison after hiding two of her children from their father for more than two years. She has also lost her custody rights.
Before the parents divorced, the two teenage girls had accused their father of abuse, although a court-appointed psychologist found no evidence to back up the claims. Instead, the psychiatrist determined that the mother had brainwashed the children.
Let The Legal Process Play Out
When it comes time to determine custody in a divorce case, courts in North Carolina generally work to find a solution that is best for the children. In most cases, that includes time with both parents so that strong bonds remain.
In the above case, it was determined that the mother attempted to alienate the children from their father so they wouldn't want to live with him.
You can be as mad at your ex as you want, and you may not think that he or she deserves any time with your kids, but you must follow the judge's orders. Failure to do so could mean harsh consequences. If a judge thinks you are a danger to the children or that you are trying to poison their relationship with their other parent, you could lose all of your custody rights. That could mean no time together at holidays and weekends, not to mention regular weeknights.
If you think your ex was or is still abusing your children, contact the police immediately. Additionally, consult with your family law attorney about what your options are. A judge may issue a restraining order or only allow supervised visits. Otherwise, you should get to work accepting that your ex will continue to play a prominent role in your children's lives, and that you will have to work together for your children's sake.