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Family law help is available when a parent abducts a child

Child custody is a serious topic for a number of families, and concerns over a custody agreement that has not been followed can increase the serious nature of the concerns that parents may have. Emotions can sometimes cloud better judgment, which may lead to one parent violating a custody agreement and abducting their child. In some circumstances, an international abduction situation may make the issue more complex and worrisome for the other parent.

The parent facing an international abduction situation may wonder how to handle it and what to do. Fortunately, the legal system provides resources to help a parent who has had a child abducted by another parent. Though it is a family law concern, there are different aspects of the legal system that are involved in circumstances of parental abduction. The criminal legal system can help because abduction of a child in violation of a child custody agreement or order is commonly considered kidnapping. State and federal laws, and state and federal authorities, may be involved.

Once a child has been returned, it is important to seek a modification of the child custody order that was violated, and it may be possible, depending on the circumstances, to have the child custody rights of the parent that abducted the child terminated temporarily or permanently. In general, violations of a child custody order are serious and can include the loss of custody, loss of visitation rights, significant fines and even jail time.

When parents in the Oakland area have child custody concerns, it is important to always seek a modification through the family law process rather than taking the situation into their own hands and acting outside of the child custody agreement or order. Child custody situations can be complicated, but family law resources are available to help in every circumstance.

Source: FindLaw.com, "What Legal Remedies are Available if a Parent Abducts a Child?" Accessed Aug. 6, 2016

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John T. Chamberlin, Attorney at Law
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