When it comes to child custody, or shared parenting as it is known in Ohio, the legal system does not fool around. This is understandable. Such plans are constructed and approved in the course of a divorce with the objective of ensuring that the best interests of the child and protecting parent-child relationships.
When one or the other parent chooses to violate the terms of a shared parenting plan, the full force of the law may be brought to bear. A good example of this made the news just this past week. The events included the FBI stepping in and getting a non-stop flight bound for China to return to Washington, D.C., hours into the trip.
According to the FBI, the action was prompted by a suspicion that a Chinese woman on the plane was attempting to leave the country with her 4-year-old son in violation of the joint legal custody agreement she has with her ex-husband. Officials say that order states that neither parent can travel outside of the U.S. without first getting written and notarized consent from the other party.
The FBI says that the plane left Washington at about noon on Thursday. Alerted by the father that the mother might be making off with the child, local authorities called the FBI and the agency contacted the airline and the flight returned to Washington at about 5 p.m.
Once on the ground, the mother and child got off the plane and she was taken into custody. She now stands charged with intent to obstruct the lawful exercise of parental rights.
An affidavit filed in connection with the case says that the mother had informed the father on the morning of the flight that she and the boy were flying to China because she had learned the day before that her grandmother was dying. But a check of travel documents showed that she had made one-way reservations for the flight a week earlier.
Source: The Columbus Dispatch, “Mom arrested taking boy to China,” Victoria St. Martin, The Washington Post, Sept. 6, 2014