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Mother granted parole five years after sentenced in custody case

A 48-year-old woman was paroled after serving part of a 14-year sentence in a New Jersey prison for taking a custody dispute into her own hands. She was sentenced in 2009 after being found guilty of interference with custody in connection with a 2005 incident.

In 2005, the woman violated a court order to return her child to the girl's father in New Jersey. The girl was taken to Spain without the father's consent. She is now 14 and lives with her grandparents in Spain.

The girl's father told a local news source that he is not going to take part in upcoming hearings and that he wants nothing to do with the girl's mother. While the woman was paroled, she was still in custody as of July 17 due to pending orders that could find her in contempt of court. She was also facing deportation to Spain.

In many child custody cases, parents who share joint custody or visitation rights must approve of any attempt to take the child out of the country. This is done to ensure that the rights of the other parent and the best interests of the child are protected. If one parent objects to the child leaving the country or to a move, that parent may be able to go to court to block the child's trip or relocation.

Violating an order to return a child or otherwise live up to a child custody agreement can come with a variety of penalties. The offending parent could be sent to jail, placed on probation or be forced to give up custody or visitation rights if that is deemed beneficial for the child.

Source: WHTM, "Mom in international custody dispute paroled", July 17, 2014

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