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Parents' miscommunication alters custody arrangement

One of the most important things that divorced parents who share custody of child must remember is to keep the lines of communication open. Confusion can cause mix-ups that could land people in jail or lead to them losing custody.

One such mix-up happened in Ohio recently, where prosecutors just announced that they would not charge a mother with interfering with child custody. The confusion started when a divorced couple's 5-year-old daughter arrived at the mother's house to find it empty. The mother had been taken to the hospital earlier in the day, and the father says that he did not receive a message to pick the daughter up, although the mother says she left a message.

It was then that Richland County Children Services ordered the mother to turn the daughter over to the girl's paternal great-grandmother. The daughter never showed up, at which point Mansfield, Ohio, police became involved. The mother's attorney says that no time was set to turn the child over, so the child went home with the mother and was not turned over until the next day.

But while the mother will not be charged with a crime, the daughter will remain in the custody of her great-grandmother. There will be a trial on Jan. 20, 2012, to determine the mother's custody situation.

In cases such as this, it is important for parents to follow the orders of the court, whether or not they agree with them. And parents who share custody need to be able to communicate effectively so that the child can have as positive of an upbringing as possible.

Source: Mansfield News Journal, "No charges after delayed custody exchange of driver, 5, in Mansfield," Jami Kinton, Nov. 2, 2011

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