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What options do I have when facing a child custody dispute?

Family law-related issues can be emotional and this may never be any truer than when child custody issues are considered. Some situations may grow so tense and heated that a child is kidnapped by a parent. Different legal options, including through the family law process, criminal justice system and other resources, are available to help parents in situations of parental abduction, including international abduction of a child.

State and federal laws, and state and federal authorities, are commonly all involved in situations of parental kidnapping. While the criminal justice process will likely be involved, it is important to also utilize family law resources to ensure that child custody agreements are followed or modified if necessary. If the child was taken while the parents had a joint custody order, the parent who took the child may be in violation of the child custody order. Violations of a child custody order can lead to a loss of custody, loss of visitation, potential jail time and fines.

It is important to keep in mind that child custody modifications may be available through the family law system based on the concerns of parents and what is in the best interests of the child. It is important to not simply ignore or disregard a child custody agreement or order and to instead seek the assistance of the family law court when seeking to modify a child custody order.

Family law and other resources are available to help enforce or modify child custody agreements and orders. It is exceedingly important for parents and families to be familiar with these resources and options that exist when a child custody dispute arises.

Source: Family.findlaw.com, "What Legal Remedies are Available if a Parent Abducts a Child?" Accessed Nov. 28, 2016

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