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With mom and dad in jail, custody of girl, 3, in limbo

Dysfunction in families is probably the rule, rather than the exception. It would be nice if things were the other way around but there's a lot of evidence to support the claim. Cain killed Abel, the Bible says. Jacob stole Esau's birthright. And there is plenty of evidence that dysfunction remains a significant element of family life, no matter who you are.

In the context of Ohio family law, the tendency toward dysfunction colors many different aspects. When a couple's relationship is coming to an end, pain is to be expected. Where children are involved, the possibility exists that they will become unwitting pawns in a vengeful parental duel. 

For attorneys with experience in this area, the objective tends to be to find that set of child custody solutions that acknowledge the legitimate rights of both mother and father to maintain and foster a positive relationship with their children, while at the same time ensuring the best interests of the offspring.

It's not always easy, as a case out of Huber Heights, Ohio, shows. You may have heard about the matter. It involves a 3-year-old girl who was abducted over the weekend from the home of her grandparents in Ohio.

Police say she was taken by her father on Saturday afternoon. News reports indicate that he had flown in unexpectedly from Texas and declared that he intended to take the child with him. He apparently left the scene in a rental car. But police say he surrendered to authorities about 130 miles west in Indiana later that day and remains jailed.

Under normal circumstances, the child should have been returned home. News reports say the father had no custody rights. But last week the girl's mother had been arrested for alleged heroin use, so she was in jail, too.

As of Sunday, the child was still being held by Indiana authorities pending the arrangement of a formal custody agreement. They say the grandparents had been taking care of the child since the mother's arrest by verbal agreement, and Indiana officials say that's not good enough to assure the best interests of the child.

Source: WHIO-TV, "Police: Mom in Amber alert appeared high at DQ," Oct. 27, 2014 

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