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How To Spot Signs Of Potential Parental Kidnapping

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As stated by the Department of Justice, around 200,000 kids are subjects of parental kidnapping annually. 6 % of these parental kidnapping incidents are open for six months or more. Sadly, some never have been closed at all. This is an overwhelming, though sobering, stat. The very person that a parent should be able to depend on with their children, the other parent, their spouse, can also grow to be so cold and callous as to betray the trust of not just their significant other, but the trust of their own child!

Parental kidnapping does not just up and happen out of nowhere. Indeed, the crime itself comes as a shock to most, however you can always find reasons that create the parent’s feeling of frustration and those examples are almost always the result of a recent divorce, or the loss of the child through a child custody case.

So what is Parental Kidnapping, Exactly?

To determine parental kidnapping, the parental right of child custody have to be discussed first. The reason being is the parent who is determined by the judge as the child’s legal guardian and/or granted child custody, can rightly take that child just about anywhere they want within reason.

Child custody begins and ends with the true biological parents of a child. Without any unusual mitigating factors, parents can make the majority of decisions involving how, and also where, they are going to raise their child. The parent possesses the legal standing to select the child’s education, their medical care, religious beliefs and the topic at hand, location of the child’s home. The laws are very clear and parents aren’t required to ask the judge for legal right to make such decisions regarding their child.

The issues that reflect back with regards to parental kidnapping and which parent is the victim surrounds those extraordinary mitigating circumstances. Of which, there are several. Although these factors might be a parent’s ability to make these decisions, both legally and rationally, has come under question due to their mental ability, or even their physical capacity. For illustration if one parent was suffering from dementia, or was in jail, stationed in another country, etc. In this sort of instance, lawyers would ask the family court for a child custody hearing. The complexities could be limitless, nevertheless it typically involves just one – divorce.

Parental Kidnapping and The Role Divorce Plays;

Divorces involving child custody are as complicated and complex as any lawsuit which has. In issues pertaining to custody of the children, lives are held in the balance. The fate of a child, in addition to the complete heartbreaking loss of one of the two parents concerned lies directly at the feet of the judge. Custody of the children is really a substantial hearing in the lives of families involved.

When a divorce has been filed, the divorce attorneys for both parties will discuss custody, whether it’s joint custody or sole custody, visitation rights, financial obligations, health insurance for the child, child support and numerous additional specifics still to be haggled over in family court. Unfortunately, whenever there is no common agreements made with regards to joint custody between the mother and father, one will walk out of court having lost their whole family with one stroke of a pen.

Having lost legal custody of the child, the parent has a diminished right to make judgments concerning the rearing of that child. From that moment on, any right of that parent is allowed solely according to any conditions agreed on by the parties, divorce lawyers and ordered by the judge. This can often be more emotional discord than an individual may handle. It is this experience that could very well set off this ordinarily sensible and rational individual to commit a completely illogical and irrational offense – parental kidnapping.


When, one parent, voluntarily and purposefully takes a child with the aim to deny the custodial parent of their rights defined under the court’s order of child custody, has committed the crime of parental kidnapping. It matters in no way what county, what city, nor what state one suspected of parental kidnapping might go. Under the federal laws that oversee such matters, the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act rigorously enforces the child custody decision made by the judge of any and all states. Every state will respect, maintain and honor the custody decision of another state.

What to Watch For;

If you, or someone you care about or cherish has recently, is presently going through a divorce that entail child custody, there are specific warning signs you, or they, ought to be on the lookout for to possibly avoid becoming, in addition to the child becoming, the victim of parental kidnapping. Throughout the procedure, if a parent begins to exhibit the signs of not being emotionally, or mentally intact as they were in the past, warn your divorce lawyer of this and let it be noted and reported. The individual might indeed be in need of mental advice or counseling in order to better handle the events unfolding beyond their control. It is logical, though on the other hand, be on guard.

An additional sign to look out for is when the hearings have all occurred and things have to some degree calmed down, the parent starts returning the child from visitation later than arranged. You should have your divorce attorney make the periods of visitation recognized in the court papers. Both sides ought to understand and acknowledge these times and they ought to be honored and enforced. If the time of return begins to be an issue, kindly advise them of the order of the court and call your divorce attorney and get his or her advice on the situation at once.

Anytime the parent states or does something that remotely suggests there could possibly be a problem, or if they ever threaten in any way the possibility of not returning the child, or “taking the child away and you never ever see them again”, promptly conclude all contact with the parent and immediately call your divorce attorney in addition to law enforcement. Never take this sort of threat as a joke and never permit your child go away with the parent without supervision again. Have your divorce attorney ask the court for the visitation to be suspended and/or supervised.

In The Event Of Parental Kidnapping;

If the parent has left with your child for any excuse that you weren’t made previously aware of, there may be an issue and you ought to begin phoning the other parent immediately. After several phone calls and no reply and no return telephone call, call the police and have them visit the parent’s home to check things out. Never go by yourself! Anything might happen while confronting someone potentially unstable. At the first symbol of parental kidnapping, call the authorities. The sooner the police can start working on the case, the better the chances of a speedy reunion with you and your child.

In many cases, the victimized parent doesn’t want to believe their ex might be capable of parental kidnapping. It’s this denial which enables precious minutes and hours tick away and the child to get further and further away from home. Again, parental kidnapping occurs 200,000 times each year, according to the Dept. of Justice. Take notice, be on guard, do not tolerate threats and your child won’t become 200,001.



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