Some splits between Texas parents are bitter and angry. In some cases, one parent might even kidnap the child, disregarding child custody orders. Certain remedies can be used in that situation.
Why would a parent abduct their child?
There are several reasons why one parent might abduct their child. Usually, it’s due to feelings of anger due to disagreeing with child custody orders. In some cases, there may a history of violence within the family. One parent might use the child as leverage against the other.
What are the laws against parental kidnapping?
If one parent suspects the other parent has kidnapped their child, they should immediately turn to law enforcement to report the crime. The state has laws against kidnapping, including when a parent is the kidnapper. The AMBER Alert system applies when the child is 17 or younger and is at risk of danger.
A parent can be charged with kidnapping if they took the child from their home state after a child custody order was created. The court can intervene and order the child be returned to the custodial parent. A child is considered as living in the state for at least six months before the request for custody was filed. However, if there’s a situation of domestic violence and the parent who was the victim of that violence takes the child to a different state, they could gain emergency jurisdiction in that state.
Sometimes, a parent might kidnap the child and take them to a different country. International abduction has certain remedies such as The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. These laws exist to get the child back to their home state if they were kidnapped and taken to a foreign country by the parent without child custody.
What can a parent do to prevent future abductions?
The custodial parent can take legal action after the child is returned to them. If the other parent has some custody rights, they could permanently lose them due to the abduction. It’s also possible to file an order or protection or restraining order.