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Extreme measures in child custody disputes

"Desperate times call for desperate measures." No one knows exactly where the phrase comes from, but it is used to rationalize a wide variety of actions in everything from football to politics to war and beyond.

It is used by some parents in some especially bitter child custody disputes as well. Take, for example, the father who believed he would not prevail in a custody battle with his daughter's mother. He felt that prospect left him but one choice: taking the 5-year-old and fleeing to Dubai.

There is also the case of the woman who apparently fled with her three son s to the Philippines, and the mom who allegedly kidnapped her daughter and took off for the United Arab Emirates.

All the parents are sought by law enforcement officials; all face the possibility, if convicted, of spending years in prison under provisions of the International Parental Kidnapping Crime Act.

The retired Air Force major who took his 5-year-old daughter to Dubai claims that all he cares "about is the health of my child and the well-being of the child." The family law attorney for the girl's mom points out that the dad has alienated the child from her mother and American family.

The dad apparently offered to pay for a trip to Dubai for the mom so that she could see her daughter, but she declined the offer.

Today, the girl is back with her mom in the United States. The father faces possible prison time, though he is apparently trying to negotiate "liberal visitation rights," according to a newspaper report. He dismisses the idea that he will wind up behind bars, though he acknowledges that he broke the law.

Child custody disputes rarely devolve to these extremes. In most situations, an experienced Butler County family law attorney can help you protect your child's best interests while simultaneously protecting your parental rights.

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