Child Abduction

Child abduction

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.

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Child Custody Modification Hearings

Child custody

When a hearing involves child custody, it can be very emotionally draining, even under the best of circumstances. While it is best that you do obtain legal representation in these cases, there are a few things that you will be able to do in order to prepare yourself for the hearing. Following are some tips on what to do in order to make this process as easy as possible for you and your child.

You should know that the language will be different according to the state you’re in, but in most cases, the standard is to determine child custody based on what is best for the child. In order to make a change or revision in child custody, the court will need to determine if there has been a significant enough change in circumstances to keep the custodial parent from taking adequate care of the child.

Some of the factors that the court will consider when determining a change or revision in custody are as follows:

  • Mental/physical ability of the parent to care for the children
  • Condition/atmosphere of the home
  • Financial ability of parent to care for children
  • Other individuals with access to the children
  • Allegations of abuse- whether or not they involve the children

According to criminal defense lawyers, whether your intention is to keep custody or to change custody, it is very important that you properly document your case. You will need to make sure that you have a record of any positive factors/conditions that prove that you can care for the children and that it is in their best interest to be in your custody.

You will also need to be ready to prove any negative factors/conditions about the other parent and their situation. Though this is not the time nor the place to engage in mudslinging, it is an opportunity to make the court aware of any detrimental effects your children may suffer if not in your custody.

In order to collect proper documentation, you will need to keep track of important dates and details of occurrences. You will also want to take the chance to draft an affidavit that supports you having custody of your children. You will also want to make sure that you have some witnesses who are willing to support your claims.

When appearing before the court, you want to make sure that you and your witnesses are appropriately groomed and dressed. While it’s not required that you wear a suit, you definitely want to wear something that you’d wear to a religious service or job interview. Women should avoid wearing anything overly sexy and men should avoid wearing graphic t-shirts.

Finally, you want to make sure that you are completely and totally honest in your dealings with the court. You will not want to make any allegations that you will not be able to prove and you don’t want to attempt to mislead the court about the facts of the case, or else you may need one of a really good attorney.

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