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Baltimore County Family Law Attorney Blog

Baltimore & Towson Lawyer Discuses Parental Kidnapping

Written by Amar Weisman » March 23, 2016 »

Dealing with child custody issues is often a difficult task for everyone involved. Depending on the situation, your Towson child custody lawyer knows that quite often, parents are faced with difficult decisions and possible anxiety over being separated from their children for any length of time – even when liberal visitation is granted.

Occasionally, a parent who has not been granted full custody of a child may feel as though the situation was not handled fairly or that they’ve been cheated out of parenting time with the child. Sometimes the situation becomes too much for that parent to bear – and he or she decides to take things into their own hands by simply taking the child and running. Although the issue is rare, incidents of custodial interference (or parental kidnapping) do occur, and it is important for you to know your options if it happens in your case.

What Can You Do If You Believe the Other Parent Might Abduct the Child?

If you believe the other parent might take the child and move him or her elsewhere within Maryland or to a totally different state, there a few things you can do. If you have a current court order, one option is to file a petition for contempt of court and ask that the child be returned. In instances where there is no court order, you might consider filing for temporary emergency custody. If the court believes the child is in danger, you might be able to obtain a custody order immediately.

Additionally, you might also contact area law enforcement because if the other parent has taken the child from his or her legal custodian on purpose, that parent may actually be guilty of a criminal offense. Under Maryland’s laws related to parental kidnapping, an individual “may not forcibly abduct, take or carry away a child under the age of 16 from the custody and control of the child’s parent or legal guardian.” If you believe this has occurred in your case, do not hesitate to contact our office right away to determine your legal options.

A Brief Look at Temporary Emergency Custody

Under very extreme circumstances, a court may grant a parent temporary emergency custody. In order to obtain such custody, you will need to demonstrate that the child is in immediate danger of being abused by the abductor, which necessitates the need for you to protect yourself and your child. You should be aware that judges only grant temporary emergency custody where he or she believes that doing so will be in the child’s best interest.

Assessing the Situation

When a parent interferes with the other parent’s custody or visitation rights, the court will step in and make a determination as to whether or not the accused party who is under a court order has interfered with or denied the visitation permitted by the court order. Based on the court’s findings, the judge can choose to order a rescheduling of the visitation, modify the custody order or conditions of the visitation to ensure the other parent abides by the order, or the judge can require the interfering parent to pay the other parent’s attorney’s fees and court costs.

Call (410) 321-4994 For a Free Consultation

Call The Law Offices of Amar S. Weisman at (410) 321-4994 to schedule a Free Consultation. The Purpose of the consultation is to determine whether you want to retain this law firm as your Baltimore County & Harford County Family Lawyer. If you do wish to proceed, then you must pay a retainer. See Our Policy on Fees and Costs. The family firm is located next to The Circuit Court for Baltimore County, at 1018 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, MD 21204.