Dylan RedwineThe latest missing child case is one sure to strike fear in the hearts of parents who have to share custody of their kids. Thirteen-year-old Dylan Redwine went to his dad's house for a visit right before Thanksgiving on a court order. Sadly, no one has seen the missing Colorado boy since, and every time the cops turn around, their leads are coming up empty. 

Right now, the lack of answers is creating only questions. And none of them look good.

The missing boy, whose parents divorced in 2007, usually lives with mom Elaine Redwine in Colorado Springs, Colorado. But he was at dad Mark Redwine's house on the morning of Monday, November 19, when Mark left to run some errands.

Mark says he returned home and found his son gone. It's been a week, and no one knows where Dylan is. Cadaver dogs later picked up a scent at the edge of a lake near Mark's home, but divers found nothing in the water.

So what do we have here? Two parents who are said to be cooperating with police. A boy who could have run away or been abducted or who knows what. And a nightmare for parents who already struggle with splitting custody.

I am not blaming Mark Redwine for anything here. Leaving a 13-year-old home alone is pretty much standard procedure. 

But if my daughter disappeared under another adult's watch, you better believe I would be mad. The fact that said adult on duty was the boy's father hardly makes up for this; if anything it makes it all that much more complicated. His mom has to stand there knowing that there was nothing she could do for her own child.

If you're in a relationship with your child's parent, you tend to have open communication about how child-related matters are handled. Throw a divorce into the mix, and sadly, all bets are off. Too often I've seen couples where one if not both parents are too busy being angry with one another to get on the same page for their kids. And in these cases, it doesn't necessarily take two to tango. If one parent is being uncooperative, there is often nothing the other parent can do but grin and bear it during court-ordered visitations. You must abide by the court's decisions, even when you know it isn't in the best interests of your child.

My heart is with Elaine Redwine today, knowing that she sent her son off to visit dad and then something happened, something that she obviously had no control over. My heart is with every parent in a custody situation who has to wonder every time they do the switch-off with their child's other parent whether they're going to get care that's "just as good" as they'd normally get over the next few days. And my heart is with Dylan Redwine. I hope the boy is safe, and I hope he comes home soon.

Do you share custody? What do you think of this case?

 

Image via National Center for Missing and Exploited Children