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Father drops charges against mother who allegedly kidnapped girl

Often in a divorce situation involving children, fathers seem to get left out in the cold. While they may be asked to pay child support, their relationship with their children is often ignored. Yet, when considering what is in the best interests of the child, a father's custody rights are an important part of the equation. To preserve their relationship with their child, many fathers must fight for their rights. Yet, even when granted shared or primary custody, as one New York case shows, a father sometimes must continue fighting.

For the past 12 years, the FBI had one 49-year-old woman on its most wanted parental kidnapping list. The woman was arrested in September 2012 when she returned with her 14-year-old daughter from Spain. The girl was returned to her biological father, who had shared custody. After the safe return of the daughter, the charges against the mother were dropped.

According to the US attorney's office, kidnapping charges were dropped at the consent of all parties, indicating that it was in the best interests of the daughter not to press charges. The mother's voluntary surrender played a role in the decision.

In this case, a daughter was returned to her father's custody, but only after he waited for 12 years. This shows how hard some fathers must fight to protect their parental rights. Fully understanding these rights is the first step in working to preserve them, allowing fathers to maintain their relationships with their children after separation or divorce.

Source: Daily News, "OFF THE HOOK: Feds drop charges against Long Island kidnap fugitive," John Marzulli, Jan. 22, 2013

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