When a divorce occurs here in Missouri, a core problem is often parents who can no longer get along with each other. When they have children, this can be a significant problem. In most divorce settlements, the child custody portion will require varying degrees of interaction and cooperation between the parents.
If the parents have shared or joint custody, where the children spend approximately the same amount of time with each parent, this is likely to require a significant amount of “handoffs,” where the parents transfer the children between the two households. These handoffs should be treated by the parents as routine and they should maintain a civil relationship to the other parent during the transfers.
Some relationships, however, have deteriorated to such a degree that not only is there little civility, but one side may behave in an inflammatory matter. This can lead to one parent attempting to poison the relationship of the children with the other parent.
Such deterioration occurred during a divorce in Minnesota, where the mother accused the father of being abusive and apparently convinced their two daughters that they needed to run away to avoid their father’s custody.
The girls were found on a horse ranch by investigators working on this parental alienation case, and it appears that the horse ranch was part of an underground, shadowy network of parents who work to circumvent lawful custody orders by allowing children to “disappear.”
The mother claimed she did not know where the girls were and that may have been true, as it appears the network minimizes contact to prevent law enforcement or the other parent from locating their children.
This behavior is tragic, as it denies a parent access to their own children in a wholly unlawful manner.
Source: examiner.com, “Sisters missing since 2013 found safe on a ranch: They didn’t want to be found,” November 21, 2015