California has seen its share of child kidnappings by non-custodial parents, some of whom take advantage of Mexico’s close proximity to flee the country to avoid arrest. A couple from Florida was arrested for fleeing to a country even closer in area to the Florida peninsula: Cuba. They were accused of interference with child custody, kidnapping and neglect after they allegedly kidnapped their two sons, aged 4 and 2.
The couple took the children from the grandparents’ home after the grandparents were granted full custody during an earlier hearing. The American authorities were alerted by the Cuban State Department after the family was spotted in Havana. Reporters said that there did not seem to be tension between the parents and children.
While Cuba is not required to cooperate with United States officials, the country has assisted with apprehending criminal fugitives in the past. In this case, the government turned the parents over for various outstanding warrants, including those from a former Louisiana incident in which the father was arrested for drug possession and tried to take his children from a foster home by threatening the homeowners with a gun. In the latest incident, the father entered the home of his mother-in-law where he tied her up and fled with the boys.
Child custody cases can often become very emotional and turbulent. In a few cases, criminal charges end up becoming part of the ongoing battle between parents or even grandparents over the fate of children. A family law attorney may be able to help individuals who are facing custody battles find legal solutions to their problems.
Source: Deseret News, “US couple in jail after fleeing to Cuba with kids,” Suzette Laboy, April 10, 2013