Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.
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Child custody: How to deal with the threat of parental kidnapping

Parental kidnapping or custodial interference sometimes happen when parents are involved in divorce disputes. An emotionally distraught parent might take a child to another state without the consent of the other parent. This could happen before or after a court has awarded child custody, and it is a crime that could be prosecuted as a felony under Illinois State or federal law.

If a parent is charged with kidnapping a child, matters that the court will consider may include whether a child custody order was violated or whether an active case to award child custody is pending. The marital status of the parents will be considered and whether both have equal rights as parents. If the parents were never married, the judge would look at whether proof of legal paternity was established.

A parent who is going through a divorce can ask the judge to include protection against such custodial interference in the child custody order. This would then be an instruction that prohibits the other parent from taking a child across state lines, and it might even specify that only supervised visitation will be allowed. If child custody is still pending in an active divorce case, a parent, who suspects that the other parent is planning to take the child to another state without consent could ask the court to grant emergency custody.

Having to deal with such concerns along with other divorce issues could be overwhelming. However, no one has to do this without the support and guidance of an experienced family law attorney. An Illinois lawyer can explain the parent's legal child custody rights and the available options. One of the remedies to consider is a restraining order, which might remove the threat of parental kidnapping.

Source:, "Parental Kidnapping: When the other parent wants to take your children out of the state", Accessed on April 20, 2018

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Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.
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Belleville, IL 62220

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