When there are children involved in a divorce, emotions sometimes make New Jersey parents do things that are out of character. They may resort to various actions of child custody interference, the most serious being abduction. When a parent abducts his or her child from the custody of the other parent, criminal law enforcement will be tasked with recovering the child, while a petition to family court may prevent similar events in the future.

If a parent removes a child from a former spouse with whom he or she has joint child custody, penalties may be severe. Violating child custody orders can lead to significant fines, loss of child custody and visitation rights, and even time behind bars. Although family law differs from state to state, a parent who abducts a child will damage his or her own standing when it comes to the family law court, and custody rights may be eliminated permanently.

Once an abducted child is found and returned to the custodial parent, that parent will want to prevent it from happening again. The most appropriate step to take is to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can petition the court for modified child custody orders. Furthermore, an application for a protection order could also be filed with the court.

Child custody-related abductions become a whole lot more complicated when children are removed to foreign countries. This is when it becomes a political battle that might be best navigated by a New Jersey attorney who has experience in dealing with countries that are part of the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction, as well as those that are not. A lawyer can also provide answers to any other questions about child custody violation.

Source: FindLaw, “What Legal Remedies are Available if a Parent Abducts a Child?“, Accessed on Nov. 24, 2017