Montgomery, Tennessee, residents are no different from any other state when it comes to divorce issues. One of the most highly contested aspects of separation is child custody and visitation. Often, news reports talk about child custody disputes which sometimes take an ugly turn with a parent going to jail or being severely reprimanded for violation of child custody orders.
Recently, a father faced criminal charges for interfering with custodial orders. According to reports, the father allegedly took his two-year-old daughter to another state where he resided in violation of the custody order in Idaho. Custodial interference in Tennessee can be a Class E felony, which could mean up to six years in prison, if convicted, although the punishment can vary in other states.
In a probable cause affidavit filed by the case’s investigation officer, the father did not return the child to her mother after a scheduled visitation in January. Instead, he took his daughter to the state where he lived. The father allegedly mentioned in phone conversations with his estranged wife that he did not plan to return the child. A warrant was issued in father’s name and he was arrested a month later and the child was returned to her mother.
Interestingly, court records for this case state that there was a verbal agreement between both parents for joint custody and the mother only filed a petition for legal custody of her daughter after the father stated he would not return the child. The case will go to court next month.
Tennessee parents embroiled in a child custody dispute should take note of this case’s events. Since violation of child custody orders can lead to criminal charges, it is always a safer to seek modification to child custody arrangements through proper legal channels.
Source: Idaho Mountain Express, “Felony charged in child-custody dispute,” April 30, 2014