The tragic story of a mother accused of kidnapping her baby girl is again in the news. The 24-year-old mother was accused of kidnapping her daughter across state lines in 2014. Allegedly, part of the reason why she absconded with the child was to prevent her daughter's vaccination. The woman is now slotted to appear in court this Tuesday to request visitation privileges from a Broward judge.
The mother pleaded no contest last September to the criminal charges of removing her child from the state against court orders and interfering with child custody. As a result of the no contest plea, she was sentenced to serve two years under house arrest and an additional three years of probation. The Broward County Circuit Court Judge agreed to withhold adjudication -- meaning that it will not be put on the woman's criminal record -- as long as the woman serves out her sentence.
Although the mother was accused of kidnapping, the charge was ultimately dropped. Another condition of her sentencing was that the woman must comply with any family court provisions regarding child custody. Her 4-year-old daughter is currently in the custody of the 28-year-old father of the girl.
Both the mother and father reached an agreement for a split child custody scenario in 2014. However, after the man dropped his child off at her mother's in May 2014, the mother removed the child across state lines and the father wasn't reunited with her again until 15 months later.
This story is particularly tragic because of the way the mother's actions have interfered with the daughter's ability to spend time with her. Unfortunately, the violation of a family court's child custody orders can have severe consequences, both criminally and for one's children. As such, any Broward-area resident should consult with a family law lawyer about the terms of his or her custody agreement to ensure that its terms and limitations are fully understood.
Source: Sun Sentinal, "Broward mom seeks visitation with daughter she was accused of kidnapping," Rafael Olmeda, Dec. 13, 2016