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Child abduction and the writ of assistance.

A Mother in Nassau County New York took or attempted to take her…old child and fly the proverbial coup.  http://www.actionnewsjax.com/news/news/local/11-year-old-boy-out-nassau-county-found/ngTt6/

I am asked the question countless times a year by both people wishing to depart the state with a child and people who fear their child will be removed from the state.  The question is almost always as follows:  If I (or my ex) take my child outside the state, is it kidnapping?

Image from the United States Hague Abduction Convention Compliance

Worthy of note in this article is that the mother in question failed to show up for court.  At that court proceeding the judge issued an order granting custody to the father.  When she was advised of that but failed to turn the child over she was probably guilty of kidnapping in New York.

Most states have a different kidnapping law for a parent than for some unrelated person.  In most states parental kidnapping is a misdemeanor and kidnapping by another is a felony.  Yet be warned.  If you are guilty of a misdemeanor versus a felony.  The food at the jail is just as bad for misdemeanors and the bars are just as hard.  Never do something because it’s only a misdemeanor.  Besides, if you ever took your child under those sort of circumstances you would probably never get them again.

The reason I point out that the article references a hearing is because that is of utmost significance.  You see most of the times I get asked if transporting a child is kidnapping the parents are not under any order at all.  Sometimes I have even been asked by an unmarried father who has not been “adjudicated” to be the father at law.  People under these circumstances are on dangerous ground indeed.

They have a child yet they have no order giving custody to either one.  That is not to imply that until there is an order it’s “the wild west.”. A parent can get an order under those sort of off the hook emergency circumstances and then you are back to the kidnapping issue.

If you must treat the children with this sort of siege approach, I encourage you to treat them more as a pop bottle than a football and follow a no deposit no return approach.

I have addressed that on my website blog in more depth but it amounts to exchanging the children for a simple note as to when you will get them back.  If the other party reneged on the deal in the note it can often be a quick ticket to court.  Thus you may attain the same objective in a quasi civil fashion as you might “boarded up” with the child like some hostage taker.

Tim Conlon, Esquire for The Custody Place

301 865-1101