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The risk of letting emotion overrule reason in child custody

For most Texas parents, few things are more stressful than a perceived threat to one's child, or the prospect of losing access to a beloved child. Child custody cases often bring out the very worst in terms of parental fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of repercussions for one's children, fear of losing out on parenting time. All of these can make it tempting to choose actions based on emotion, rather than reason. That approach, however, can have devastating consequences for both parent and child. 

An example is found in a case in which a father ended up in jail and facing serious criminal charges after failing to adhere to a custody agreement. The problem began when the father picked up the child from school without the mother's permission, then refused to bring him home when requested. The mother contacted state police, and the situation quickly went downhill from there. 

A state trooper arrived and tried to help the parents coordinate a custody exchange. When the father failed to show up at the agreed upon place and time, the trooper called and left a voice message. That prompted the father to contact the mother and issue a threat. 

All this ended with the father in jail and charged with child concealment, which is a felony in the family's state of residence. He's also been ordered to refrain from going to the child's school or contacting the mother. A conviction will certainly lead to punitive measures, and he also now faces an uphill battle in fighting for more time with his child. This story should serve as a cautionary tale to Texas parents who are tempted to act out when child custody stress gets the better of them.  

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