Source: Garett Law Group
As indicated by the Department of Justice, around 200,000 kids are subjects of parental kidnapping year after year. Six percent of such parental kidnapping incidents are open for six months or longer. Regrettably, some never have been closed at all.
This is a incredible, albeit sobering, fact. The individual who a parent should be able to trust with their children, the other parent, their spouse, can also grow to be so cold and callous as to betray the trust of not only their significant other, but the trust of their own child!
Parental kidnapping does not just up and happen out of the blue. Certainly, the crime itself may come as a shock to most, however you can always find issues that produce the parent’s feeling of desperation and those examples are most always the effect of a recent divorce, as well as loss of the child as a result of a child custody hearing.
What is Parental Kidnapping, Exactly?
To determine parental kidnapping, the parental right of child custody must be discussed first. The reason being is the parent that is determined by the judge as the child’s legal guardian and/or granted child custody, can by law take that child anywhere they desire within reason.
Child custody starts and ends with the true biological parents of a child. Void of any unique mitigating factors, parents can make almost all decisions involving how, and in addition where, they opt to rear their child. The parent has the legal standing to choose the child’s education, their healthcare, religion and the topic at hand, location of the child’s home. The laws are quite clear and parents do not need to petition the court for legal right to make one of these selections regarding their child.
The issues that reflect back regarding parental kidnapping and which parent is the victim surrounds those particular mitigating issues. Of which, there are several. Although these factors could be a parent’s ability to make these selections, both legally and rationally, has come under question due to their mental capacity, or even their physical capacity. For example if one parent was experiencing dementia, or was in the penitentiary, stationed in a foreign country, etc. In this sort of situation, attorneys would ask the family court for a child custody hearing. The complexities could be limitless, however it typically involves just one – divorce.
Parental Kidnapping and The Role Divorce Plays;
Divorces concerning child custody are as challenging and complex as any suit which has. In cases pertaining to custody of the children, lives are held in the balance. The destiny of a child, as well as the absolute heartbreaking loss of one of the two parents taking part lies directly at the feet of the judge. Custody is a significant hearing in the lives of families concerned.
When a divorce has been filed, the divorce attorneys for both parties will talk about child custody, may it be joint custody or sole custody, visitation rights, financial obligations, health care insurance coverage for the child, child support and numerous additional details still to be haggled over in family court. Unfortunately, when there is no common agreements made regarding joint custody between the mother and father, one will certainly walk out of court having lost their entire family with one stroke of a pen.
Having lost legal custody of the child, the parent has a diminished legal right to make selections in connection with the rearing of that child. From that moment on, any right of that parent is permitted primarily depending on any stipulations decided on by the parties, divorce lawyers and ordered by the court. This may often be more emotional distress than a person might tolerate. It is this experience which could very well stimulate this usually reasonable and rational person to commit a totally illogical and non-rational offense – parental kidnapping.
When, one parent, voluntarily and knowingly takes a child with the aim to deny the custodial parent of their legal rights specified under the judge’s order of child custody, has committed the crime of parental kidnapping. It matters in no way what county, what city, nor what state somebody suspected of parental kidnapping might go. Under the federal laws that oversee such cases, the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act rigorously enforces the child custody decision made by the judge of any and all states. Every state will value, uphold and honor the child custody decision of another state.
What to Watch For;
If you, or somebody you know or cherish has recently, is presently suffering through a divorce which entail child custody, there are particular warning signs you, or they, have to be on the lookout for to possibly avoid being, and the child being, the victim of parental kidnapping. Through the procedure, if a parent starts to reveal the appearance of not being emotionally, or mentally intact as they once were, advise your divorce lawyer of this and let it be known and documented. The person might indeed be in need of mental help or counseling to be able to better manage the events unfolding beyond their control. It is logical, though having said that, be on guard.
An additional signal to look out for is after the proceedings have all happened and things have to some degree calmed down, the parent begins returning the child from visitation later than arranged. It is wise to have your divorce lawyer make the periods of visitation recorded in the court papers. Each party should recognize and agree on these times and they should be respected and enforced. If the time of return begins to be an issue, politely remind them of the order of the court and call your divorce attorney and ask his or her guidance on the problem at once.
Anytime the parent says or does something that remotely implies there may be a concern, or if they ever threaten in anyway the possibility of not returning the child, or “taking the child away and you never see them again”, without delay end all contact with the parent and promptly call your divorce attorney and the police. Never take this sort of threat as a joke and never allow your child go away with the parent unsupervised again. Have your divorce attorney ask the judge for the visitation rights to be suspended and/or supervised.
In The Event Of Parental Kidnapping;
Should the parent has left with your child without any reason that you weren’t made previously aware of, there might be an issue and you need to start calling the other parent immediately. After a couple of phone calls and no reply and no return phone call, call law enforcement and have them go to the parent’s house to check things out. Don’t go by yourself! Anything might happen when dealing with someone perhaps volatile. At the first indication of parental kidnapping, call the police. The faster the authorities can start working on the case, the better the likelihood of a speedy reunion with you and your child.
Typically, the wronged parent does not want to believe their ex might be capable of parental kidnapping. It is this refusal that allows critical 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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