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Father in Russia defies custody rules, kids reunited with mother

An 11-year-old and a 12-year-old have been reunited with their mother after an international child custody dispute. The kids went to visit their father, who lives in Russia, but he threatened to hold them in the country indefinitely. He was ultimately charged with child abduction in Russia.

However, it was a dicey reunion. The mother and a U.S. security consultant had to go to the kids' school in Russia to clarify the situation and get them back to the U.S. School officials were a bit confused, and the police were called. Eventually though, the situation was figured out and the mother and children flew back to the U.S.

Now, it is easy to think that child custody disputes are inevitable, and that every divorcing couple will run into serious problems at some point with their custody arrangements. While many couples may experience some difficulties at some point, it is rare for things to become as bad as the circumstances in this story.

Some more common problems that arise with divorced parents and their custody arrangement is a change in life circumstances. It could be a new job, or a need to move out of the state. In the latter scenario, there are complex interstate child custody laws that play a role in altering (and ultimately solving) the custody arrangement.

Child custody is a very contentious issue by its very nature. It's your kids, and you want to have a healthy and continuous relationship with them. The discussion of custody threatens this very line of thinking. However, a solution can (and often does) present itself.

Source: Associated Press, "Children returned to mom in United States," Dec. 16, 2013

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