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Texas mother, grandmother jailed for interfering with child custody

Child custody determinations can be challenging for parents and their children, as well as extended family members such as grandparents. While parents and grandparents may feel that they should be able to see their grandchildren, they may not realize that custody arrangements may prevent them from doing so, as any Texas child custody lawyer knows.

A Texas mother and grandmother are in police custody for interfering with child custody orders. Before Thanksgiving, local officials visited the mother's home to take the child into custody. However, when they got there, the mother drove to the child's maternal grandmother's home to retrieve the child and left town.

The child, an 11-year-old girl, was eventually found and determined to be safe. Police, however, did take the mother and grandmother into custody. Police did not specifically indicate why Child Protective Services was initially attempting to take custody of the child.

When determining who gets custody or visitation rights of a child, courts consider the best interests of the child. In some cases, grandparents are determined to be able to provide the most stable home for the children. Some states also take many other factors into consideration, including the abilities of the parents or grandparents to care for the child, the wishes of the child and the strength of the relationship between the grandparents and the grandchildren. Typically courts are more willing to grant visitation rights to grandparents than custody rights.

Interference with a custody order can be a serious problem. When a parent or grandparent seeks greater visitation or custody rights than they currently have it's best to carefully assess their legal options, rather than violating a court order. Depending on the circumstances of the case, the Seeking a court-enforced modification is a legal way to reassess a child's needs and potentially alter current custody and visitation arrangements.

Source: ABC News, "Texas Girl Allegedly Kidnapped by Mother Found Safe," Christina Ng, Nov. 20, 2012

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