Mom Who Snatches Son Gets Away With It

child custody suit snatchIn yet another installment of, "Why I will never, ever, ever get a divorce," a story about a 10-year custody battle of a little boy highlights how anger with your adult partner can seriously harm your child. You'll be forgiven for not immediately seeing the damage done to 16-year-old Alex Abbott, who is at the center of a custody case that just ended simply because he aged out of the process.

To quickly recap: Alex's parents, Jacquelyn Vaye Abbott (American born) and Timothy Abbott (British born), married in England and gave birth to baby Alex in Hawaii. The couple then relocated to Chile and later separated. Jacquelyn had custody, and Timothy had visitation rights. Jacquelyn claimed she could not find work in Chile due to her status as an American citizen, and took Alex (then 10 years old) back to live with her in Texas. Timothy never granted a divorce and has been fighting to have Alex brought back to Chile ever since.

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But now, Alex is 16 and can make the decision for himself about who he wants to live with. He has chosen his mother and says he has no interest in seeing his father. End of story. Except it's not that simple, especially for Timothy Abbott.

No matter if the mother had custody, moving the child to an entirely new country -- one that the father is not a citizen of -- is wrong. Unless the reasons involve abuse, this mother should not have taken her child away from the father. If the reasons did involve abuse, that should have come out in these proceedings and we would be hailing mom as a hero instead of a villain. Even though 16-year-old Alex wants nothing to do with his father, this should come as no surprise. He's been living exclusively with his mother for six years. Six very formative years, when she has been fighting with his father.

Just think if the genders were reversed, what would you think about this kid-snatching? Even though this case is ending with a whimper instead of a bang, it's still devastated at least two lives. Alex's father, and Alex himself.

No matter how you feel about your ex, your child needs to have the opportunity to develop a relationship with his mom and dad. You're hurting your child, even though you think you're only hurting the man or woman you no longer want to live with, see, or even think about. That's selfish and harmful to your offspring. Again, unless we're talking about abuse and/or neglect, there's no reason to deny your child a relationship. No one wins here, except perhaps Jacquelyn, who finally gets her way.

Do you think this mother should be punished for snatching her child?

 

Image via Diego3336/Flickr

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