What is Considered Parental Kidnapping?

family law attorneysWhen a parent takes a child away from one parent, especially on a temporary basis, it might not seem like such a huge deal to involved family members. After all, the child is still with one of the parents during this time, right?

Wrong. Taking your own child without permission is known as parental kidnapping, and it is a serious criminal offense that could have far-reaching consequences. While the severity of each kidnapping case can range from a quick weekend getaway to long-term plans to be on the run and live like a fugitive, all instances of parental kidnapping are grievous offense that can jeopardize your legal rights as a parent.

The Definition of Parental Kidnapping in CA

Parental kidnapping is a crime for several important reasons. For one, this interferes with the other person’s rights as a parent. In addition, forcing a child to go on the run with you can be extremely harmful for their emotional and general well-being. To avoid detection, parents demand that children use fake names, give false information, and constantly move around. This uprooting takes away their stable environment and adds unnecessary hardship to their lives.

When defining whether an act of taking one’s child falls under parental kidnapping, the courts look at a few factors: the parent’s legal status, the status of any existing custody arrangements or orders, and the accused parent’s intent behind the removal. When a parent violates a custody order or infringes on the other parent’s rights, he or she has committed parental kidnapping.

Protect Your Loved Ones and Talk to a Family Law Attorney Today

Frustrating custody disputes happen and emotions can get heated. However, parental kidnapping is never the right answer no matter the circumstances. If you’re worried about the other parent’s actions or behaviors, there’s a few things you can do to try and protect your family. 

For one, start gathering evidence that the other parent might be planning to kidnap the kids. Record every time he/she is late with the kids, oversteps custody bounds, and commits any actions that would further help establish that the ex is trying to take the kids without permission. You want to make sure that he/she doesn’t use their legal parental rights as a shield against your accusations. 

In addition, if you’re concerned about parental kidnapping in CA, you should reach out to a legal professional immediately. Loop in a trusted family law attorney, someone who has the experience dealing with sensitive matters such as parental kidnapping and other family law issues in CA. 

At R & S Law Group, LLP, we offer free initial consultations! Let our legal experts help you explore your options, all with zero commitment on your end. 

Call today at (949) 825-5245 to schedule a free initial consultation!