Child abduction is the illegal removal of a child who is under the age of eighteen (a minor) from their home without first having confirmation from the child’s parents or legal guardian. As you can most likely already tell, there can be a lot of different scenarios involving child abduction. Perhaps a family friend thought that their child’s friend was coming over to play for the afternoon, so they picked up the child from his or her home without approval of the parents. That case would more likely be a misunderstanding, but it could also fall under child abduction.
But the most common kinds of child abduction are when a parent takes their child from the other parent without permission, during a custody battle in a divorce proceeding between the parents. And even though it’s more rare, child abductions do happen where a child is randomly kidnapped by strangers, and taken to an undisclosed location and hidden there from the parents.
• What if a Parent with Visitation Rights abducts their Child?
-In custody battles, one parent will usually end up with custody over the child while the other parent will be granted visitation rights. If the parent with visitation rights only abducts the child on a day where they are not allowed to visit the child, then the parent with custody should immediately file a police report allowing law enforcement to find and return the child. The parent in this case will have to prove that they have custody of the child, and many other documents proving this will have to be filed with the police department as they file their police report.
• Can I Parent with Primary Custody Be Charged with Child Abduction?
– There is one instance where a parent with primary custody over their child could be charged with child abduction, and this is if they deny the other parent with visitation rights to visit with the child. However, this parent with primary custody could also simply be charged with not complying with a court order, which is a whole different ball game. If the parent with primary custody is legally required to allow the parent with visitation rights to see their child on certain days, then by law, they have to do so. The rules regarding this will be stated clearly in a custody agreement between the two parents, as determined in court.