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Grandparents who took extreme custody measures located

No matter who is involved, child custody issues can be complex and emotionally draining. Parents, grandparents and other guardians may be tempted to take extreme action to protect what they consider to be the best interests of the child. But acting outside the legal system can ultimately reduce grandparents' rights, however, and will only extend complications into the future.

Readers in Houston may be interested in a case that began in 1994. At the time, a 5-year-old boy lived with his grandparents. His mother and father had divorced, and his mother lived temporarily in a group home. Since the home was not equipped for children, the grandparents gained legal custody and filed for guardianship.

After a time, the mother moved out of the home and into her own apartment. A court granted her custody of the child on weekends. The mother eventually remarried and filed for expanded custody rights. According to her attorney, she was granted custody on a trial basis, but the grandparents did not return her son. Investigators have now determined that the grandparents took the child out for breakfast and never brought the boy back.

In September 2012, the closed case was reopened after a search on the boy's Social Security number turned up information about a man living in Minnesota. Although his name was different, the man had the same birthday. He is currently married, and according to reports, both his father and mother are eager to see him again.

In cases in which grandparents are trying to protect grandchildren from parents who are believed to be unfit, it's no wonder that emotions can run high. Even so, taking matters outside of the law can be dangerous and cause future problems. In this case, lives were permanently changed, and now the grandparents may face criminal or civil action. Houston residents who want to modify a court order would do well to consult with a family law attorney and find out what their options are.

Source: Huffington Post, "Richard Wayne Landers, Missing Boy Found As Adult, Says Grandparents 'Were In The Right'," Jan. 12, 2013

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