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Kidnapping and abduction: serious problems in child custody

A recent news story about the alleged abduction of a teenage girl by her high school teacher made headlines all across America, and left many Colorado parents wondering how such a horrific event could happen. While cases of kidnapping and abduction do not always garner as much attention, they do occur at an unfortunate rate. In many cases, however, the parents are the kidnappers.

Parental kidnapping violates not only the child custody orders under which parent-child relationships are governed, but also a host of federal laws. A case of international abduction in which a parent crosses the United States border against the regulations provided by their custody order can implicate international laws and create significant legal problems in bringing the child back home to their custodial parent.

It can take the involvement of law enforcement officials at both state and federal levels to locate, seize and return a taken child to their rightful custodial parent or guardian. Once a child is returned, a parent may undertake significant work to make sure that such actions never occur again. Through the provisions of the operating child custody order and any laws that the parent may have broken the kidnapping parent may face penalties, such as fines, jail time and loss of parental rights.

Kidnapping and abduction by a noncustodial parent is not normal in the course of establishing child custody matters. If a parent fears that their child's other parent may engage in custody-violating behavior or put their child at risk, then they are encouraged to discuss their concerns with their family law attorneys or law enforcement officials who may be able to intercede on their behalf.

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