An Illinois mother and her testimony are at the heart of a unique court case that may have far-reaching implications for parents and custody agreements throughout the state and even the country. The woman in question fled to Canada with her child in 2015 after her custody was limited. While the woman’s actions are not up for debate, she maintains that she was consciously violating her court order for the purpose of protecting her child from alleged abuse from her father, who was granted primary custody.
“It is my obligation to protect my child from harm,” the woman said to jury hearing her case, “I took her to Canada to protect her.” The jury will soon be deliberating about whether the woman is guilty of international kidnapping for breaking the terms of her court order and taking her child across the border. However, her defense is mounting an interesting defense on her behalf – that she is not guilty of kidnapping, because she truly believed that her actions were justified because Canada was the most appropriate venue to determine custody and because she feared for her daughter’s safety.
The case serves to highlight just how complex and pliable family law can be when complicated issues arise. It remains to be seen how a jury will rule in her case, but the foundation of her defense is already legitimate. For thousands of parents, her case may provide an interesting and unconventional basis for opposing a judge’s orders if you believe the order’s are unjust, or if you believe that the judge handling your case is not the proper individual to make the ruling.
It is clear that being a parent is no simple matter, and the legal issues that can arise are never clear-cut. If you are in a complex custody conflict, do not hesitate to get the best help that you can find. With the guidance of an experienced and creative attorney, you may find that your conflict has more solutions than you could imagine.
Source: The News-Gazette, “Jim Dey: Mother explains why she took child to Canada,” Jim Dey, Dec. 20, 2016