Parents in California who are concerned about their ex-spouses abusing their visitation rights may be interested in reading about possible legal actions available if the other parent chose to flee the state or country with their child. Sometimes, these situations result from a dispute over custody or visitation between the parents; regardless of the cause, the law does provide remedies to bring the child back and establish parameters to prevent the incident from recurring. Family courts may allow the victimized parent or guardian to petition for a modified custody arrangement with new protections.

Federal and state authorities usually get involved when a parental abduction occurs. Child abduction is considered to be a serious crime that extends beyond the reasonable scope of typical family problems. Parents are entitled to employ a private detective to conduct an independent investigation parallel to law enforcement, but this expense may be considerable since the parent must fund it entirely.

Depending on the circumstances and jurisdiction of the case, parents who abduct children may have their custody revoked once the child is retrieved. These cases may be treated as a violation of the child custody order. Perpetrators may be subject to prison time, fines, loss of visitation rights and loss of custody. These types of cases are often most difficult when the parent has taken the child overseas to another country, particularly if the country does not observe the Hague treaty. Politicians and public figures may serve as effective resources if the situation escalates to an international dispute.

Families who are involved in disputes concerning child custody or visitation rights may benefit from consulting a family law attorney who may be able to help construct a parenting plan that is in the best interest of the child and likely to be approved by the court. The attorney might also be able to help parents who are struggling to obtain a child custody or visitation modification from the court or parents interested in preventing a recurring abduction incident.

Source: Findlaw, “What Legal Remedies are Available if a Parent Abducts a Child?“, August 27, 2014

Source: Findlaw, “What Legal Remedies are Available if a Parent Abducts a Child?“, August 27, 2014