When a parent kidnaps their child

Kidnapping is defined as knowingly restraining another person with the intent of holding the victim for ransom, as a shield or as a hostage.  Kidnapping can be an emotionally charged crime, especially when a parent kidnaps one of their own children as part of a family dispute.

Custody disputes are most times a messy affair, and in cases where one parent wants to hurt the other or feels they have been wronged by the court system, this can lead to a parent absconding with their child.

To meet the standard of parental kidnapping, three standards must be met.

  1. What is the legal standing of the offending parent?
  2. What are the court orders, if any, regarding custody?
  3. What is the intent of the offending parent?

Parental abduction generally violates several federal and state laws and may include the FBI.  When a kidnapping occurs, it also means that custody orders were violated.  When custody orders are violated, some of the penalties for the violator can be fines, jail time (in addition to kidnapping charges), loss of custody and loss of visitation rights.  To prevent a repeat of this happening, the custodial parent should involve an experienced custody rights attorney who can also press the case for kidnapping as the most thorough way to prevent a repeat episode.

In cases where a parental kidnapping standard cannot be met, if a custody order was in place, then the offending parent could be charged with a crime of “interference with child custody.”  Though not as serious, it could still lead to custody sanctions, fines and other penalties.  On the flip side, a good defense attorney will use alawful custody argument to counter parental kidnapping charges.

Dwane Cates Law Group proudly serves the cities of Poenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, Tempe, Mesa and surrounding Arizona communities.

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