Parental Kidnapping From A Legal Standpoint

Legal Tips and Resources

Parental kidnapping is a serious crime, and as a family law attorney knows, simply accusing a parent of kidnapping their child should not be done lightly. Parental kidnapping is not an unusual occurrence, and many parents have spent years attempting to track down their child after the other parent has taken them to an unknown location. If you are the parent of a child who has been taken by their other parent outside the scope of your court ordered child custody arrangement, contact a lawyer. A family law attorney has a thorough understanding of child custody laws, and criminal offenses such as kidnapping. With the law behind you, you stand a better chance of recovering custody of your child, and preventing future access to them by the other parent.

Parental Kidnapping from a Legal Standpoint

From a legal standpoint, parental abduction or parental kidnapping involves a child from a previous marriage and their removal, retention, or concealment in violation of the court approved child custody arrangement. It’s not uncommon for the parent kidnapper to take the child to another country, though more often it’s to another location in the same state or elsewhere in the United States. The child may at risk for physical or sexual abuse by the parental kidnapper, injuries, or even death. The laws are clear about these concerns and considers them criminal actions.

A family law attorney who has an intimate understanding of the applicable laws can assist the lawful parent in petitioning the court for changes to the child custody agreement. This is critical so that the other parent will not have access to the children during visitations and possibly abduct them once again. It is also possible that our family law attorney may be able to help you regain physical custody of your children. Because every case is different due to the many variables involved, it’s important to undergo a complimentary case review with our family law attorney to learn how we might assist you in this.

Parental Kidnapping is a Criminal Offense

Parental kidnapping is not considered a domestic dispute between former spouses: it is a criminal offense when committed in the U.S. when an American court has already ruled on the child custody arrangement between the parents. Taking a child from the custodial parent without that parent’s permission deprives the rightful parent of their rights and it deprives the child of their rights as well. Because it’s a criminal offense, it will be up to a prosecutor to file charges against the parental kidnapper. Though a family law attorney cannot file charges on your behalf, they can help you present the pertinent information to the authorities. Your family law attorney can also petition the family court on your behalf to revoke all rights of the other parent to custody so that the authorities can recognize the criminal actions of that parent.