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What is parental kidnapping in a child custody case?

On Behalf of | Sep 22, 2023 | Child Custody, Family Law

When parents separate or divorce, one of the most challenging aspects to resolve is child custody. While courts typically aim to ensure the best interests of the child, disputes can arise and lead to custody battles.

In some cases, a parent may resort to extreme measures like parental kidnapping. This is often in an attempt to gain custody or thwart the other parent’s rights. Divorcing individuals should recognize the signs of parental kidnapping and its implications in child custody cases.

Understanding parental kidnapping

Parental kidnapping, also known as child abduction, occurs when one parent takes their child without the consent of the other. This act can violate court orders or custody arrangements. The aim is often to prevent the other parent from having access to the child or securing custody for themselves.

Common reasons for parental kidnapping

The reasons or motivations behind a parent’s decision to alienate the child from the other parent can include:

  • Disagreements over custody
  • Fear of losing custody
  • Revenge or retaliation
  • Concerns about the child’s safety

If one spouse voices any intent or concerns that commonly precede parental kidnapping, the best course of action may be to take preventative measures.

Preventing parental kidnapping

To prevent parental kidnapping, parents should maintain open communication, follow court orders, and resolve custody disputes through legal channels. Seeking mediation or professional counseling can also help parents find common ground and reduce the risk of abduction.

Studies show that an estimated 200,000 children become targets of abduction by a family member each year. While some parental kidnapping cases amount to custodial interference rather than outright abduction, it remains the case that this behavior can have a negative impact on divorce proceedings and on the child’s well-being.