Can a Parent Be Guilty of Kidnapping Their Own Kid?

Can a Parent Be Guilty of Kidnapping Their Own Kid?

It might seem impossible, but in the state of California, you can actually be charged with kidnapping your own child. If you are planning to take your child in violation of a custody order, it’s time to think again! This can land you in jail or you could be facing a stiff fine. Instead of resorting to parental kidnapping, contact a family law attorney like Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP instead.

What are the most common causes of parental kidnapping?

Typical cases of parental kidnapping occur when there is a divorce or custody battle waging on. If there is no written custody agreement in place, one parent may accuse the other of kidnapping. Or, if there is a written custody order in place and one parent ignores it, they can also be accused of kidnapping.

What does that law say about parental kidnapping?

The law on this is quite clear. There is a distinction between parental kidnapping and child abduction. Child abduction includes maliciously taking a child and hiding them from a parent. This can be done by a stranger, family member, or even a parent.

Parental kidnapping is considered a serious crime. It is when a parent moves a child long distance by threat or force. This can land you in jail for as many as 8 years with a fine of up to $10,000.

Can it be considered kidnapping if there is no custody order in place?

If there is no custody order in place and a child is taken from one parent without that parents’ permission, there are no legal ramifications. That doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences though, as the parent who lost the child can request that the judge creates an ex parte temporary custody order, which may be applied in cases where a child is in immediate danger. If that is granted, you may then be found guilty of abduction or kidnapping.

Who can help me with my child custody case?

If you are fighting a child custody case, it is important to get an experienced lawyer on your team. You never want to resort to parental kidnapping as the charges associated with that can be criminal and involve a fine and time spent in jail. The law is clear on this and even though penalties vary by the age of the child and what the custody orders state, it’s essential to have a lawyer on your side. Before it gets to that point, contact Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP so we can fight for your rights as a parent and get a fair custody order in place. To schedule a consultation for your child custody case, contact our office today at 909-482-1422!

To learn more about the family law services that we offer, visit us on the web at Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP.