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Cheryl Maher: Criminal Charges for Breaking Child Custody Agreement

Cheryl Maher traveled from the state of Arizona to have a scheduled visit with her three children, who reside in New Hampshire, earlier this month. The time with the kids obviously did not end as planned, because the mother is now facing three counts of interfering with child custody for not properly following the terms of her child custody agreement.

WMUR News reports that the three children, a 10-year-old boy and a set of 15-year-old twin girls, were found safe in Salem, NH by authorities after the father of the children called police when they were not returned to him on time. The children were allowed to see their mother for the weekend, but they were supposed to be returned to the father by 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.

Cheryl Maher may have difficulties with child visitation in the future if she is convicted of interfering with child custody in New Hampshire. This case shows the importance of following the exact terms of a child custody agreement and visitation schedule. Failure to do so can result in criminal charges.

A parent can seek to change a child custody agreement that is already in place if he or she can show that the conditions have changed substantially since the last custody order. A child's preference to live with the non-custodial parent can be a basis for a modification of custody, as long as the child's reasons are well-based and do not appear to result from bribery. Parents can also change a custody or visitation agreement at any time as long as both parties agree on the changes.

Editor's note: This post has been modified to reflect that Ms. Maher traveled from the state of Arizona to another state to visit with her children.

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