Brent Anderson, a phoenix resident, is going to prison after fleeing to Mexico with his daughter. The father failed to drop off his toddler, Ava, after a custodial visit. Allegedly, Anderson and his wife took a bus to Mexico to hide with her family in Cualiacan. With the help of Mexican officials, the U.S. Marshal’s Service was able to find the little girl and take Anderson into custody. Ava was safely returned to her mother.
Brent pleaded guilty to the felony counts of custodial interference and attempted kidnapping. The case finally came to a close as a judge sentenced Brent to Five years in prison and four years of probation.
In Arizona, child custody is not easily decided. Outlined in ARS 25-328, a sequence of trials determines the best outcome for the children. The most common arrangement is joint custody, where both parents make decisions for the child. Sole legal custody grants one parent to make the decisions for the child. Parents are subject to custodial laws and judgments of the court.
According to A.R.S. § 13-1302 an individual commits custodial interference if they withhold the child from the other parents, deny access to the child or if they fail to return the child to the lawful custodian.
A person is guilty of kidnapping if they restrain another person with the intent to:
-Hold the victim ransom, as a shield or hostage
-Hold the victim for involuntary servitude
-Inflict death, physical injury, or a sexual offense of the victim
-Place the victim in physical injury
-Seize or gain control over a vehicle.
Kidnapping is a class 2 felony. Should the victim be released voluntarily, it becomes a class 4 felony.
Fighting for Custody?
It can be very difficult to deal with child custody laws in Arizona during a divorce. If you are experiencing issues, contact Jackson White’s family law attorney, Timothy Durkin, to schedule a consultation at 480.779.7972.