Working Through Child Custody Disputes

According to the Department of Justice, nearly 200 thousand children each year are kidnapped by a family member. Luckily, 98% are returned home safely.

At the same time, every year in the U.S. the bonds of marriage are broken, and often times that collapse gives way to the rise of child custody disputes.

Jonesboro Attorney Barbara Halsey has also seen custody disputes turn into kidnapping situations. For example, in the case when one parent may have custody, but the other parent takes the child and leaves the state.

"If there are disputes, hopefully those disputes can be taken to court and resolved in court," said Halsey.

However, sometimes not everything is that easy. Halsey says if it comes down to a physical tug of children there are ways to get emergency orders from the court, but both parties must still appear in court.

"The bottom line rule for courts is to do what's in the best interest of children," said Halsey.

If you decide to seek help from law enforcement officials, their help may actually be limited.

"Police officers generally do not have authority to take a child," said Halsey.

However, laws do exist that would permit, for example, law enforcement officials in one state to work with officials in another state to get the child back. But again the court must first have a say.

"Those things can take a long time, or those things can take a short time when they are being expedited," said Halsey.

The bottom line is before you get in a car or hop on a plane to get your child, find out on which side of the law you stand.