One unfortunate part of divorce that neither parents nor children like is the splitting up of one home into two. Emotions often run high and negotiations can be challenging to both parents in a child-custody case. In California, a court may grant one parent sole custody of the children and only allow visitation by the other parent. If custody is to be shared, however, the court will need to see that cooperation is possible for both parents.
It turns out that shared parenting can benefit children. Both parents can meet their duties as mothers and fathers even though separated. Children may even learn to feel that this kind of setup is normal and can develop healthy routines and activities.
Some child custody cases, however, have a darker side. Parents who desperately want more time with their children may resort to abduction. Although the figures are a decade old, 203,000 children were abducted by their parents in 2002, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Some parents abduct their children because of custody disagreements, and some take their children as revenge against their former spouses.
Even though they may have the best intentions, abducting parents can ruin their children's lives. Psychological problems for children can develop during an abduction as they are forced to move from place to place, forget their friends and start over each time.
To prevent the possibility of such abductions, parents in child custody cases are advised to seek arrangements that they can live with and that will benefit their children. The best interests of the child should always be considered. Parents proven unfit to raise their children may not be granted custody, but they can usually be allowed at least supervised visits. Once the parents have improved their lives over time, then they may be allowed more access with their children.
Source: Huffington Post, "The other missing kids: Parental abduction," Tony Loftis, Feb. 20, 2013