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Woman arrested after kidnapping children

Some Connecticut residents may have heard about the child abduction case involving the 32-year-old woman who violated her custody agreement and fled to Europe with her two children. Authorities now say the mother has been located and arrested in the French town of Divonne les Bains. The two fathers arrived in France shortly thereafter and were granted full custody by a French court before returning to Los Angeles with their children.

A U.S. District Court filed an international arrest warrant for the woman in September, and if she is extradited to the U.S., she may face imprisonment of up to six years and a $500,000 bail. In a statement, the woman admitted she was aware that she was in violation of the court's custody agreement and had deliberately decided not to return to California. The woman absconded with the children after a court gave her permission to travel with them to Slovakia and the Czech Republic in June 2013.

However, she did not return on her scheduled return date and continued giving excuses as to when she would go back to the United States until the fathers filed child concealment complaints. Reports indicate that the woman enrolled the children at a French school under assumed identities and had begun changing their appearance to avoid discovery.

Although the stress of a child custody dispute can seem like an overwhelming burden, the children's mother very likely faces criminal charges in the United States relating to the international abduction. While few divorces reach such extremes, most couples may certainly benefit from some form of mediation that allows for both parties to discuss their disagreements relatively amicably. In this way, it may be possible to reach custody agreement that satisfies both parents.

Source: Huffington Post, "Fathers Reunited With Their Kids 18 Months After Kidnapping", Brenda Gazzar, December 30, 2013

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