Custody and visitation court cases take their toll on families. Separating fathers or mothers from children, even if it is just the weekend or every few days per month during visitation, can cause some parents to take drastic measures. When a parent takes their child from the other parent, leaves town with the child against a court order, or refuses to allow the other parent their legal visitation or time with their child, they will be held in contempt of the court. The American Bar Association warns against taking matters into one’s own hands if a parent is unhappy with a court ruling regarding child custody or visitation. It will have grave consequences during the divorce case for that parent, who will also likely be tried in criminal court. A parent who commits parental kidnapping seriously compromises their chances of having a positive outcome during the divorce proceedings, as they have created a blight on their parenting abilities that no judge will ignore.
Consequences of Parental Kidnapping
Some possible consequences of parental kidnapping include the following:
- Being arrested;
- Spending weeks, months, or longer in jail or prison;
- Fines and restitution fees;
- Loss of child custody;
- Limited visitation or supervised visitation only (the parent may also be required to pay a fee for the supervising authority during the supervised visitation as well, meaning that it cost them money every time they see their own child); and
- Loss of all visitation rights.
Has Your Child Been Kidnapped By Their Other Parent?
Sadly, parental kidnapping is very common. In fact, kidnapping by a stranger is extremely rare. Most children who get kidnapped are taken by someone they know, who is usually a family member and almost always a parent. One study found that 875,000 children are abducted by a family member every year and that 90 percent of those kidnapping relatives or abductors were actually the parents of that child. Fathers were more likely to abduct or kidnap their child than mothers, and only 43 percent of abductions were reported to the police....