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How child custody matters can sometimes take an unfortunate turn

Of all the family law issues that ultimately require resolution in court, none are perhaps more difficult than child custody. That's because both parents typically want what's best for their child and don't want to miss out on any aspect of their life.

The unfortunate reality is that because these stakes are so high and so very personal, child custody matters can become extremely contentious, or, in more rare cases, escalate to the point of harassment, violence or other criminal activity.

Consider a story here in College Station, where a 33-year-old woman recently stood accused of attempting to hire a hit man to murder the father of her seven-year-old son in the days leading up to a scheduled court date in an ongoing custody battle.

According to police reports, an acquaintance of the woman contacted police back in 2013 after the woman made a series of remarks about hiring a hit man that he initially dismissed, but later began to take seriously.

Local law enforcement agents eventually set up an elaborate sting using this acquaintance and an undercover officer posing as contract killer that culminated with the woman promising to pay the undercover officer $4,000 to carry out the murder.

The woman was subsequently arrested and charged with solicitation of capital murder, which is a first-degree felony here in the state Texas punishable by up to 99 years in prison or a life sentence.

Our own Wendy Wood was then asked by a local media outlet for her unique perspective on this case.

While indicating that a criminal conviction would likely severely limit the woman's access to her child, she also shared her thoughts on the sad reality of this matter.

"The child's the one who suffers," she said. "In this case, it would have been dad, had mom's request been carried out, but, ultimately, it's always the child that suffers."  

Indeed, she pointed out that even though the woman's seven-year-old has no knowledge of the incident right now, it would be all too easy for him to read about it on the Internet in the near future.

Source: The Eagle, "Police: College Station mother solicited hit man for father of son," Andrea Salazar, Sept. 27, 2013

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