Monday, July 21, 2014

Interference with Child Custody

  Maria Jose Carrascosa, 48, is a native of Spain and lived in Fort Lee, New Jersey. She had a child, a daughter, with Peter Innes while in New Jersey and the couple separated in 2004.  They signed a parenting agreement prohibiting either parent from taking the child out of the country without the consent of the other.  In 2005, while custody was still unresolved, Carrascosa took the child, then 4, to Spain.

    In 2006, the New Jersey Court ordered the child returned, but Carroscosa refused.  Carrascosa returned to New Jersey and was promptly arrested for contempt.  She has been in jail for the last five years.  The child, now 14, is still in Spain and has not been returned.

    Carroscosa was sentenced to 14 years in 2009, after being convicted of interference with custody.  She has recently been paroled but has not been set free yet.  Innis has not seen his daughter since she has been taken to Spain.  As the article states, until she returns the child to New Jersey, she is still in contempt and she can be placed back into prison.

    When there are court orders regarding custody, make sure to follow them.  When, as Carroscosa did here, one parent makes it difficult/impossible for the other parent to see their children, then this will certainly be taken into account when making future orders.  In California, this type of behavior, whether just restrictive gate-keeping parenting, or whether more extreme like this case, can serve as a basis for a modification or custody orders and even a change of custody entirely.  Judges want to see co-parenting, and in the absence of that, will award custody to the parent that they feel will encourage the relationship between the child and the other parent.  As always, you should consult an experienced family law attorney before making any major decisions regarding the children especially those that will impact the custodial time of the other parent. 

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