California parent without legal custody may have kidnapped child

Officials in California have been alerted to the disappearance of a young girl who was taken from her school on Jan. 23. The 11-year-old girl is thought to have been kidnapped by her mother, who does not have custody of the child. The father of the girl, who has legal custody, has told police that the mother is likely returning to the Sacramento area with the child. Sacramento officials are on the lookout for the child.

As the custodian of the missing girl, the father was allowed to live with her out of state, even though the mother is from California. Child custody issues are often among the most contentious in divorce cases. Both parents want what is best for the child, but often opinions on what the best action is differ. Many times, seeking help from a family law attorney can be beneficial to parents who are going through a divorce or some other family law dispute.

In some cases, as in this one, custody of the child is awarded to only one parent. Though there are no reports as to why the decision for sole custody was made in this case, often the court determines that one parent is better suited to care for the child, or one parent is unable to care for the child. Courts work to create the best custodial decision for a child who is involved in a divorce.

If found, and it is determined that the mother is in fact the person who took the girl from her home, further custody actions may be in order for the father. He may be entitled to ask the court for a modification of the current parenting plan. Many questions are yet to be answered in this case.

Source: Hazelwood Patch, "Gabrielle Jackson still missing two days after her disappearance," Candace Jarrett, Jan. 25, 2012

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