Informal child custody agreements are a recipe for disaster. Family court judges establish child custody arrangements for a reason. When the arrangement is established in court, it is done so in a straightforward manner so both parents know what to expect. They will also know not to violate the order in fear of punishment.
A pair of Northfield parents did not have such an agreement. Instead, the two struck a verbal agreement on how to parent their 2-year-old child. The end result was a situation in which the father violated the terms of that verbal agreement and police eventually charged him with kidnapping.
The 23-year-old man and the mother of his child agreed on the perimeters of his visitation. He was supposed to care for the child through Monday night and then bring the child to daycare the next day. He apparently followed through, but when the child’s mother went to the daycare facility to pick the child up, she was informed that the child’s father had already done so.
The woman called around to the child’s father and his relatives but was unable to reach them; so, she went to police with a complaint. She claimed that the child’s father did not want her around because she was not willing to sign an agreement for joint custody of the child.
Local police put the word out to law enforcement in surrounding areas to be on the lookout for the man and his young child. The duo was eventually located when a police officer pulled him over at 9:30 p.m. one night.
The man might pay severely for his missteps in the child-custody process. He was charged with felony kidnapping and concealing a minor. He could potentially see a sentence of 20 years behind bars and fines up to $35,000.
Source: Northfield News, “Northfield man faces charges in custody dispute,” Jaci Smith, Jan. 31, 2013