Custody Disputes Can Quickly Spiral to Parental Kidnapping

family law attorneyCustody disputes are difficult for all involved parties, and things can escalate rapidly, especially if one or both parents are unhappy with the resulting custody arrangement. When one parent decides to ignore a custody order, or attempt to travel to another state without permission, etc., this can quickly become a parental kidnapping issue. 

Today’s post is a look at how CA defines parental kidnapping. We’ll also discuss actions you need to take if you’re concerned that the other parent might try to kidnap your child. 

How do the CA Family Laws Define Kidnapping?

CA law defines two types of parental kidnappings/child abductions.

  • According to Penal Code 227, abduction is defined as taking or withholding a child, concealing them, or keeping physical possession of them. This applies to all persons, not just parents, and a belligerent parent who refuses to hand the kids over can face charges based on this definition. Note that this applies even if the child is not being held against their will.
  • According to Penal Code 278, a parent who specifically seeks to circumvent custody orders and maliciously takes possession of the child or conceals him/her can be charged with child abduction. Penal Code 278.5 further adds to this. A parent who interferes with custody orders or the other parent’s rights can be charged with interference of child custody.

Take Action If You’re Worried About Parental Kidnapping

If you suspect that the ex is considering taking your child, or he/she has made threats about this, do not delay to take action. You can notify the courts ahead of time and work with them to help protect them via custody order modifications and more. 

At R & S Law Group, LLP, we can help you explore your options and get you started on any steps you may need to take to get ahead of this and other custody issues. Call us at (949) 825-5245 to learn more about how we can help. 

We offer free initial consultations! Call us today to schedule an appointment.