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Child custody battles can be difficult for both parents and children. But once the courts have established a custody arrangement, both parents are expected to adhere to it. However, there are instances in which parents take matters into their own hands and do not follow the rules of their custody agreement. California police have begun a search for a missing 3-year-old girl and her father after he missed a court-ordered handover of the child.

The man and his daughter flew into Los Angeles International Airport from Atlanta. They did not collect their luggage from the airport and failed to meet the girl's mother as they had arranged. The man phoned a mutual friend the following day and told them that he was staying at a hotel in somewhere in the city with his daughter.

The man has joint custody of his daughter, and the girl spends two weeks with one parent and then two weeks with the other. She was due to be returned to her mother on May 11. But when this did not happen, the woman spoke with her attorney and their custody arrangement was revised. The new agreement required the girl to be returned by June 6 at the latest. Police are still searching for the pair.

Navigating child custody laws can be confusing and stressful for parents. Many find it difficult to tolerate custody arrangements that they feel are unreasonable, and may act outside of the law in order to have access to their child. But taking a child without permission is not the best way to seek a change to custody terms. For those who would like to modify an existing arrangement, experienced California attorneys may be able to help.

Source: Beverly Hills Courier, "Police Search For 3-Year-Old Girl, Father Who Missed Court Appearance," 13 June 2011

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