Child custody fraud ripped families apart
Residents of Orange County, California, may already understand the rippling effect of marital disputes within a household. These disputes, if not settled properly, can lead to a couple’s separation and subsequent divorce. Children often get caught in the middle of their parents’ disputes. Whenever possible, parents should always act in the best interests of their child.
Child custody often leads to a contentious divorce process, as both parties may seek sole custody of the children. Both parents may be granted legal custody, which means that they will be responsible for making decisions regarding religion, school and the health care of the children. Some couples seek mediation to help them handle marital disputes. Couples should be careful when choosing a mediator for many reasons. An incident that demonstrates this occurred in Arizona, but it could have occurred anywhere.
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office investigated a business where the owners were allegedly committing child custody fraud. The business was a family and children’s services company and it was run by a husband and wife. The couple provided child custody mediation services to their clients. The wife allegedly pretended to have a doctorate and certification as a professional therapist.
An elderly man and his wife assumed custody of their grandchildren when their daughter died. The grandchildren’s biological father then hired the services of the family and children’s services company. The result was that the couple lost custody of their grandchildren when the biological father and the mediator accused him of child molestation.
Another woman shared her experience about the family and children’s services company. For one and a half years, she dropped her son off at the business for supervised visitation. When she picked him up, he had bruises and bite marks. She felt powerless because the visits were a court order.
If a person is going to use that type of business, it is critical to check the business’s background and the individuals who will be handling the case. Both sides should come up an agreement regarding child custody that is comfortable for everyone concerned.
Source: Kpho.com, “MCSO arrests couple linked with child custody fraud,” Dawn Alexander, Nov. 29, 2012