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Columbia father gets jail time for taking son from school

A Columbia, Missouri, man who ran from police after illegally taking his son from school in February 2011 was sentenced recently to six months in the Boone County Jail for interference of child custody. The charges stemmed from an incident that began when the man picked up his child from elementary school despite a court order forbidding him from having unsupervised contact with his son. The father had not sought permission from the mother before taking the child.

The father and son were eventually found at a residence in Saline County, Missouri, where police discovered the boy in good health. However, the father fled, leaving the boy behind, and was arrested by police at a later time.

Child custody is often an emotional issue that can lead to bizarre or even criminal behavior on the part of one or both parents. Laws regarding custody exist to protect the children in these cases and prohibit either parent from taking unfair advantage of a divorce situation by exploiting the children involved. Specifically, judges usually try to consider what is in the best interests of the children in terms of visitation with both parents before making any visitation rulings.

In some cases, judges feel that one or both parents are not capable of taking care of children or could cause them damage; in those instances, judges will sometimes order supervised visitation, which means that someone else must be present when the parent and child or children are together. An experienced family law attorney can help solidify these arrangements.

Source: The Columbia Daily Tribune, "Dad who took son from school jailed," Oct. 12, 2012

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