There's a saying most people in Texas know. It is, "If you want something done right, do it yourself." There are a lot of things we can do ourselves, but many things we can't. Those we can't tend to be restricted by law and so we rely on the police and the courts for justice.
Issues of family law are on that list of things that require following proper procedures. When parents split up, one isn't allowed to simply take control of the children and flee. Seeking the help of the courts and the authorities isn't always easy. It can be frustrating, even for attorneys. But it is the path we need to follow as a country under the rule of law.
One recent news story is what prompts this post. It is about a father in Corinth who had to spend a lot of money and wait an exasperatingly long time to get his two sons back. He had followed all the proper legal procedures, but he says what annoys him most is his feeling that the local police didn't do all they could have.
The two boys, ages 5 and 3, are the children of the father and his former partner. They were living with him after the couple broke up. But last April, she took off with the children and disappeared.
The father obtained a court order granting him custody and asked police to issue a missing persons report for the boys, but they refused. They said the mother had filed a complaint accusing him of abuse and neglect. But even when the mother's charges were debunked, police said the case didn't warrant the use of the Amber Alert system.
Weeks turned to months. Eventually, with the help of a private investigator, dad tracked the mother and children down to Arkansas himself. He hired an attorney in that state and got legal custody through the courts there. Finally, authorities recovered the boys.
Today, father and sons are said to be getting on with life but he says police should have done more. For their part, the police say they did all they could under the law.