Parental Kidnapping: What Is it and What to Do

child being abducted over dark background

Emotions can overwhelm sound judgment and reason when it comes to family law matters. This is especially true in child custody disputes where sometimes one parent flees and takes the children with them without permission from the other parent. This could undoubtedly be agonizing for that other parent. Fortunately, there are laws in place specifically created for instances such as this.

Parental Kidnapping

Law enforcement officers are usually wary of intervening in family matters. In regard to domestic violence or parental kidnapping, though, they’re usually the best option. Parental kidnapping would usually also implicate various state and federal laws. If you have the means, The Burnham Law Firm, P.C. suggests hiring a private investigator to devote his or her time to focus on your case.

Custody Modification

When you have located your child and they are safely back home with you, you have to do everything that you possibly can to prevent the incident from happening again. For example, if your child custody arrangement required you to share custody with the other parent who kidnapped your child, they violated the court order, which means that you were denied your court-ordered child custody rights. The kidnapping would then damage that parent’s standing and credibility and could result in temporary or permanent removal of his or her custody rights.


In addition, parental kidnapping or abduction is an outright custody order violation. Due to this, aside from losing custody rights, the parent kidnapper could face other penalties. These additional penalties often include hefty fines and even imprisonment.

Children require utmost protection, particularly during difficult child custody battles where one parent might suddenly act on their impulses. If you have a reason to worry about your child’s safety, you need to work closely with a family law lawyer who could pinpoint potential issues in your case. They should also be able to secure stronger safeguards for you and your child.