A large number of supporters turned out for a 38-year-old Monterey mother who they say is being manipulated by her son's father in his efforts to evade child support payments. The child custody battle has caused supporters to question the efficiency and fairness of the justice system and to claim that the child is being harmed by the continuing litigation.
The timeline of events for the battle date back to 2002, and according to the mother's attorney, the father of the child kicked the mother out of the house during her pregnancy. Friends described him as verbally and physically abusive to the mother. When the biological father sued to have access to the boy's Social Security number, he was assessed child support payments. The mother obtained a court order to move to Mexico with her son although the father was awarded supervised visitation.
The father filed for a change of custody, but the papers were never personally served to the mother. The family returned to the United States, where the boy was picked up at school by police in 2010 and the mother was arrested on a deprivation of custody charge, which is a felony. Due to a medical condition, the mother went into convulsions and suffered health problems after the arrest. In the meantime, the father was ordered to pay more than $20,000 in back child support.
A divorce attorney can advise parents of their rights in the sometimes complicated legal system surrounding family court. Any parent with children who is contemplating separation or divorce should have a complete understanding of the law regarding child custody issues and may need the assistance of a divorce lawyer.
Source: Monterey County Herald, "Supporters rally around mother in long-running Monterey County child custody case," Claudia Melendez Salinas, Sept. 29, 2012