You may think that parental kidnapping is impossible, but it is not. Parents are also known to kidnap their own children. When a child is born, that child is born to two parents. No matter how unfit a parent is, the child is born to them, and this is why parents believe they can do this with no repercussions. Usually, complicated custody battles can lead parental kidnapping, and this is illegal. The law weighs heavily in these cases and vary from state to state. To ensure you are not an offender of this crime, or to verify if you are a victim of this, it is important to understand what counts as parental kidnapping. What may seem obvious is parental kidnapping being very similar to regular kidnapping. This is true. In simple terms, when a child is taken by his or her parent, that child may potentially be a victim of parental kidnapping. No matter the custody situation, parental kidnapping goes far beyond a custody battle amongst parents.
Two things that the court will look out for, and that you should consider in these cases to determine whether it is in fact parental kidnapping is:
- Was there a parenting plan in place that was violated when the parent took the child?
- Did the parent leave with the child without the consent of the other parent?
Usually, having a parental agreement in place that was violated opens up the options for a parent to pursue parental kidnapping charges against the other party. There are some instances when a parent may have the right do so, for the best interest of the child:
- The other parent is abusive to the child.
- The other parent is known to neglect the child.
- The other parent neglects the child and exposes he or she to harm.
When a parent violates a custody order, much like any court orders, they can be held in contempt of court. It is then up to the court to determine any repercussions. If there is no custody order being violated, technically there is no violation and you should go to law enforcement should you feel the child is in danger.
No matter what, parental kidnapping is illegal and if you or someone you know has potentially committed this offense, contact a criminal defense attorney in Dekalb County, GA to see what legal options you have before it is too late.
Thanks to Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into criminal law and parental kidnapping.