When couples end their relationships, they often must decide upon the best custodial arrangements for their minor children. Most family courts today split child custody equally between two parents, yet designate one parent as the primary custodial parent who keeps the family home and receives child support.
Despite a judge’s decision on custody however, some people take matters into their own hands and abduct their children from the other parent. Kidnapping is a felony. A Minneapolis criminal defense attorney states that,“Choosing your legal representation in a felony case will be one of the most important decisions you will make in your life.” When a woman abducts her own children, she puts at risk her future custodial arrangements.
Revenge or Manipulation
Some women abduct their own children in an attempt to manipulate the other parent or get revenge for perceived wrongs inflicted upon them. If a woman did not want to break up or get a divorce, she may think that kidnapping the children could convince her ex-spouse to reconsider their relationship and agree to take her back.
Other times, women take their children without the court’s permission as a way of inflicting hurt on the other parent. Women in this position often feel like they are powerless and cannot hurt the other parent in any other way. They show their strength and their desire to hurt their exes by abducting their own children.
Perceived Protective Actions
Women who are convinced that their exes are hurting or abusing their children may abduct their own children as a way to keep their children safe from their abusers. A woman who has been told by her children that the other parent is abusive, or a woman who has herself witnessed and experienced the abuse at the hands of the other parent, may not want her children to spend any time with that other parent. When she cannot protect them through legal means, she may take her children and run. While illegal, she may perceive this action as the only way to keep her kids safe.
While most mothers will not hurt their children after the abduction, they are still in violation of the law. If or when law enforcement catches up with them, these mothers will most likely face significant legal actions against them.
If a woman kept her children in the same state, she more than likely will face a Class A misdemeanor charge and possibly face a few days in jail, probation, or a monetary fine. If the mother took the children across state lines, however, she will face felony kidnapping charges, which could result in her losing custody altogether and going to federal prison for several years.
Effects on Custody
Abducting the children could have a devastating effect on a woman’s custodial arrangements. This action could give the other parent enough fuel to go to court and demand full custody of the children. In light of the abduction charges, most judges have little recourse but to rule in favor of the other parent. If she retains any custody at all, a mother more than likely will receive supervised visitations and no overnight visits for quite some time, if not permanently.
Of course, this scenario could change if a mother can prove without a doubt that the other parent is a true danger to the children, and that she had no other way to protect the children but to abduct them.
A woman who has abducted her children may realize that she faces legal consequences when or if she is apprehended. As she and the children return home, she should be aware of what could happen to her legally when it comes to going to jail and being able to see her children.
Debbie Nguyen is a blogger with two children. Her biggest fear would be to ever lose her kids. Minneapolis criminal defense attorney Kevin DeVore helps parents accused of felony charges avoid conviction and punishment so they can be reunited with their families.
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