When most people see the phrasing “parental kidnapping” they may be a little confused at first. This is totally understandable because it’s rare that the words “parent” and “kidnapping” are ever used in conjuncture. Although it may sound odd, parental kidnapping is a real issue that over 200,000 families have to deal with annually.  Families that are most likely to experience parental kidnapping usually exhibit a few telltale signs. Families that are the most at-risk for a parental abduction are usually in the middle of custody battles, argumentative about visitation, and nervous about their child’s safety when the child is with the other parent.  

In this blog post, we will be discussing parental kidnapping, reasons people might do it, and how to tell if your family is at risk.

Why Do Kidnappings Happen Within Families?

While there is no justification for kidnapping a child, even if you are the parent, parental kidnappings occur because the parent thinks that what they are doing is justifiable, or seemingly doesn’t understand the gravity of the action.  According to kidnapping experts, there are a few reasons that a parent might kidnap their own child.

  1. One of the more common reasons for a parent to kidnap their child is that they fear losing custody or visitation rights for their child in a divorce. Once people start to think that they will lose their children, they are bound to act drastically.
  2. On the opposite side of the spectrum, sometimes parents will kidnap their child purely for malicious reasons such as to punish the other parent.  This reason for child kidnapping usually stems from messy divorces, so if you’re getting a divorce please be sure to use a divorce lawyer (like Shana Pavithran of Pavithran Law firm) that can make divorce a quick and painless process in order to avoid issues.
  3. While this is one of the least common reasons that someone might have for kidnapping a child, it is not unheard of for a parent to kidnap the child in order to force communication or interaction with the other parent that has separated from them or cut them off.
  4. Another reason that someone may be inclined to kidnap a child is that they are the non-custodial parent, and the custodial parent’s new partner begins to take a parental position. Parents that feel excluded and replaced may feel forced to act drastically to be noticed.
  5. One of the rarest cases of family kidnapping a parent will abduct a child in order to protect the child from a parent that seems to be abusing, molesting, or neglecting their child. While this is a kidnapping stemming from good intentions, there are better solutions to dealing with an abusive parent. If you ever suspect a parent to be abusing, molesting, or neglecting their child alert the police immediately.
  6. Listed above are just a few of the possible reasons that a parent might feel inclined to commit a kidnapping of their own child. The key to preventing kidnappings is recognizing the signs as well as taking preventative measures to ensure your child’s safety.

How To Prevent Family Kidnappings

There is no easy way to prevent child kidnappings, as they are often  sudden events, but there are steps that you can take in order to make it harder for the other parent to abduct your child. If you are in the process of a divorce, respect the custody and visitation rights of the other parent, because as we discussed earlier in the blog, that might push them to kidnap your child. Another way to ensure that you protect your child from the possibility of being kidnapped by the other parent is to maintain a friendly relationship with the other parent and their new family so that there may be no malicious intent to kidnap your child.

One of the most important things for you to do during a custody battle for your child to prevent abduction is to begin the custody process immediately. The largest reason to start the custody process right away includes obtaining the custody order proving your legal right to custody. Once you have the legal right to custody, notify the school district, healthcare providers, babysitters, and anyone else that may be in charge of your child for any amount of time of the custody status so that they may keep your child from being released into the care of the other parent.

Lastly, keep all of the documentation regarding your custody battle organized. Keep your certified custody order printed at home in case you need it. You will also want to keep information on the other parent like social security numbers, current photos of them, their bank account number, and their license plate number so that you may give the information to the police if they ever  attempt to or actually take your child.

If You Need Legal Help, Pavithran Law Firm Can Help

At Pavithran Real Estate & Family Law Firm, we understand that going through a divorce or a custody battle is hard enough and the last thing that you need is the other parent kidnapping your child, but we want you to know that we are here to provide legal assistance. If you ever find yourself in the situation that the other parent has taken your child, first call the police, and then contact us. If you’re looking for a family law lawyer here in Issaquah, look no further, because we can provide you with the quality legal aid and legal assistance that you need in order to build a case.

If you have any questions about our services, or if you are experiencing this situation, contact us today.