Skip to content

What is Parental Kidnapping?

Home » Firm News » Criminal Defense » What is Parental Kidnapping?

What is parental kidnapping, and is it a real concern in the San Diego area? Can parental kidnapping happen at any time, or is it clear that there are certain environments or situations that come into play with these charges. Don’t worry because our experienced criminal defense attorneys in San Diego are here to sort out everything you might need to know about parental kidnapping and the charges that come with it.

When Does a Parent Not Have a Right to Have Their Child?

When there are elements of violence, abuse, or neglect in the household, it is possible for a parent not to have a custodial right to their child. Additionally, court orders such as child custody agreements can restrict the ability of a parent to have custodial, residential, or physical custody of a child.

Now, most parental kidnappings happen when here is a child custody arrangement in order, and a parent violated that order. However, parents will often work in ways that aren’t compliant with the order for the sake of the child or for their own convenience.

Does a text like, “Hey, can you pick up David at the bus stop on Tuesday?” seem familiar? It is familiar because parents do this all the time. Then a worried babysitter, malicious ex-partner, or concerned grandparent calls in for a kidnapping.

Can There Be A Parental Kidnapping If Both Parents are Still Together?

Yes, both parents can still be together, and there still be a parental kidnapping charge. Usually, these situations involve elements that would call for emergency custody consideration. For example, if you and your partner were arguing over the last week, then she claims that she’ll take your kid and leave that’s a threat of parental kidnapping. It’s actual kidnapping when she does it.

Parental kidnapping doesn’t just happen when the parents are at odds, either. On some occasions, one parent doesn’t know where the other parent or child is and when reporting them missing, the police interpret it as parental kidnapping.

Police will usually work in ways that they believe will produce the best results. When a parent and child are missing, it is often more advantageous for them to call attention to a parental kidnapping than two missing persons.

Situations Where Police Get Involved

Typically all parental kidnapping situations will involve the police. San Diego police work diligently to locate children quickly. But, the police get most involved when a parent is afraid that the other parent will take their child out of state or out of the country.

When it comes to taking a child out of the state, if they already have the documentation they need to cross state borders or fly, then it can be difficult to intercept them leaving. If you’re afraid that the other parent will take your children out of state, you should file for emergency custody.

If you feel that your ex-partner or current partner will call on a kidnapping charge when you take the kids out of state, then get a written statement first. Having a written statement can quickly resolve a lot of confusion and make it appear that you had no intention of kidnapping your child.

Parental Kidnapping Risks in San Diego

Parental kidnapping is taken so seriously in San Diego because of the close proximity to the Mexico border. When a parent takes a child out of the country in a parental kidnapping situation, it becomes a federal matter. The U.S. Department of State would then go through the process of attempting to locate the child, facilitate the return of the child, and more.

All of this requires collaboration with the government in Mexico and can take weeks, months, or years. If you’re charged with international parental kidnapping, your spouse will need to prove that you had no permission to take the child out of the country.

Do You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer in San Diego?

After a parental kidnapping charge, you’ll need a San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney. At San Diego Criminal, you can sit down and have a chat about the situation that led to the parental kidnapping charges although they are criminal charges usually, these issues, root back to family issues or concerns such as parental disagreements and arguments.

Don’t allow one bad argument or a temperamental ex-partner to make you face criminal charges for spending time with your child. Not only can you fight these charges, but with a good case and a strong attorney, you can put every effort forward to show your innocence. Work with an attorney based in San Diego who understands your situation to get started on your case.

Scroll To Top