Parental kidnapping is one of the great tragedies that occur when a divorce turns messy. A representative example of this was when an Amber Alert was issued several years ago for Jessica Smith, an 11-year-old girl from Fort Worth, Texas. Her parents were involved at that time in a nasty, contested, divorce and custody fight.
When Jessica was not immediately located, police in Fort Worth reissued the Amber Alert for the 11-year-old girl and expanded the search for her into Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Louisiana. When Jessica was found in the possession of her mother, Kimberly Smith, in New Mexico, they were both hungry and exhausted, the news services reported. There were allegations that Jessica’s father had molested her and that her mother had assaulted her and tried to smother her. Kimberly Smith was arrested and Jessica was put into the custody of family members while the facts of the case were sorted out by Children’s Protective Services and undoubtedly, also by the parties’ lawyers and the judge of their case. No matter how this case came out, the trauma that was suffered by this child will likely affect her negatively for the rest of her life.
It is always a tragedy when the emotions in a case result in the adults acting in irrational ways, particularly ways that adversely affect their children. Lawyers can play a critical role in talking to clients and offering solutions, such as mediation or actual counseling with mental health professionals, to protect children from anyone in their family taking such extreme measures as did Kimberly Smith.
At the Law Office of David S. Bouschor, II, we work with families in midst of a messy divorce to keep the lid on tensions and prevent this type of parental kidnapping and abuse. Unfortunately, there are circumstances where a parent tries to disappear with a child. David Bouschor has had experience in successfully locating missing children for his clients and has been instrumental in working with law enforcement and the Court to see that those children were returned to the parent from whom they were abducted.
If you or someone you know finds themselves in a situation where these skills and this experience would be beneficial, contact the Law Office of David S. Bouschor, II, at (940) 202-8323