One of the stickiest parts of divorce is the fate of a marriage's children. Even if divorce is amicable and not as emotionally charged as it could be, parents are often possessive about their children and loathe to share custody and decision-making abilities with former partners and family members.
Some disputes over child custody can lead to legal incursions beyond a day or two in family court. It is rare that parents take matters into their own hands, but some alleged disappearances are connected to disputes between divorced parents.
Michigan law enforcement agencies recently cracked down on unpaid child support payments, fining or arresting dozens of "deadbeat" parents who had been ignoring their responsibilities. More recently, a U.S. Marshal's Service warrant squad turned up more than 120 missing children in Wayne County, home to Detroit, Michigan's largest city.
Recovered children had been identified as runaways, possible victims of sex trafficking or other lost children. Although the cases are still being investigated, it is not uncommon for children reported missing in Michigan to be with one or another divorced parent while the other is unaware of the child's location.
Police reports or accusations of child abandonment can confuse divorce proceedings or child custody arrangements after they have been made. Parents are always encouraged to avoid unnecessary disputes in the interests of the children.
Parents who need to make or revisit plans for child custody may consider legal representation to help protect their interests. An attorney can review the particulars of a child custody arrangement and fight for parents' rights during or after a child custody hearing.