A Colorado father is still trying to bring his 5-year-old daughter for a visit to see her grandparents and other members of his family. They waited at the airport in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in anticipation, but when their son walked through the airport gates, he was alone. His family, though, has not given up hope, even though it has been more than five years.
The little girl decided at the last minute in the Salt Lake City, Utah, airport that she didn’t want to get on the plane. Her father, while understandably disappointed, said that he just wanted to make sure his daughter was ready to take this important step. He did, however, wonder if she had been coached to back out of the trip because he hadn’t seen any signs that she didn’t want to come before she arrived at the airport.
This entire story has been an ongoing child custody battle for years. In 2008, the father and the mother lived in Colorado. She went to Utah, leaving the father in Colorado. She had the baby in Utah, but never told him. The mother’s family members adopted the baby soon afterwards. As soon as the father found out about the baby, he petitioned the court in Colorado for his paternal rights. He wanted his daughter and made it very clear he did not want her adopted.
Eventually, the case ended up in front of the Utah Supreme Court. “Deception” was the word the court used to describe the actions of the mother. The Colorado court system ended up with the case again, but the little girl had turned four by then. The judge told the adoptive family they must tell the girl she was adopted and that the father must share custody.
Over the last year and a half, the father has traveled to Utah about a dozen times in an effort to get to know his daughter. He was supposed to take her to Albuquerque, New Mexico, so she could meet her grandparents. Since that trip didn’t happen, the adoptive family and the father are back in a Colorado court. The judge said the trip is supposed to happen within 45 days and that the child needs to be “encouraged to make the trip.” The father and his family are waiting but are sure it will happen.
If you are involved in a child custody dispute, you should contact an experienced Colorado family law attorney. Your attorney will fight for your rights and for the best interests for your child.
Source: 9news.com, “Colorado dad faces next hurdle in custody dispute” Cheryl Preheim, Aug. 11, 2013