International Flight Diverted Due to Custody Dispute

An unidentified woman is being accused of kidnapping after she took her child from its father during a heated custody dispute. However, with the help of the FBI and a quick thinking pilot, the father was reunited with his child last week.

The Custody Dispute

The parents, whose names are not being disclosed to the press but are reported to be residents of Virginia, are in the midst of a tough and contested custody matter. On September 4, 2014, the mother unlawfully and without permission took her child and boarded an airplane headed for Beijing, China, in an attempt to remove the child from the country, greatly restricting the father’s access.

Involvement of the FBI

Upon finding out that his child was being taken out of the country, the father contacted authorities. Because of the nature of the case, and the fact that the child was being taken to China, the FBI became involved and ordered United Airlines Flight 897 return to the Washington Dulles International Airport.

A Quick-Thinking Pilot

According to a report from Lane Bailey, a passenger aboard the aircraft, travelers were 5 hours into their journey when the quick thinking pilot announced they were returning to their departure destination due to mechanical problems. In his statement to the press, Bailey said, “The pilot came on board and said we were experiencing mechanical problems. After (the mother and child) left, the pilot came back on and said that he deliberately misled us, he thought that, in his judgment that it was the best thing to do, given the circumstances of potential abduction that that’s the reason we had diverted.”

Reunion and Legal Consequences

After being escorted from the aircraft, the child was reunited with his father and placed in his care, and the mother was taken into police custody with attempted kidnapping charges. The child’s grandmother was also aboard the plane, however, she was not detained and it is not clear whether or not she faces charges.

Disputing parents will often disobey temporary child custody orders while in the midst of a legal matter, whether intentionally or not. The severity of violating a temporary order varies, and can include minor infractions such as missing a visitation session, or returning a child after an agreed upon day or time. In some cases, one parent will try to remove the child from the state or country of residence, which is usually not allowed unless both parties consent to it.

New York Family Law Firm

If you are involved in a New York City child custody battle and are concerned that your child’s father or mother is planning to take your son or daughter out of the country, you need to contact an attorney. The law firm of Brian D. Perskin & Associates, P.C. specializes in matrimonial and family law. Their aggressive approach to litigation, along with their experience handling delicate child custody matters, has helped countless parents in the metro New York area prevent opposing parties from traveling abroad with their children, as well as retain their custodial rights. Contact us at (646) 791-3228 or (718) 875-7584 to schedule your free and confidential consultation today!

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