Pennsylvania parents involved in child custody disputes may find a recent story interesting. The father of a child has been charged with extortion after he would not return the child to the mother unless she signed a contract he had written in order to keep the two of them from further appearances in family court. He pleaded not guilty and was released, but he was told he could not contact the mother unless they were discussing child care arrangements and that he had to adhere to court orders received in 2013 when both parents sought legal assistance with child custody matters.
The 2013 court order did not have time restrictions for visitation so when the mother went to pick up the child from the father, he told her to come back the next day. She called the police at that time and was told to call them back the next day if the father did not let her have the child. She did have to call the police again because the father told her she would not be able to get the child until she had signed a contract that he had written.
Police obtained a copy of that contract as well as the official court order. The mother’s signature was on the father’s contract but she told police she did not agree with the terms. Police notified the father that they knew about the situation and had the documents. The father’s defense was that the mother had been late in picking up the child and he thought he was doing what was best for their child.
Child custody cases can be very complex, but each state has its own rules and regulations for determining what is best for any children involved. Each parent submitting his or her own parenting plan to the court is a common first step in the court’s determination. However, parents in Pennsylvania who need a structured custody agreement may need assistance with the legal procedures involved in composing such an agreement.
Source: benningtonbanner.com, “Man accused of extortion for allegedly withholding child custody”, Keith Whitcomb Jr., Mar. 18, 2015