What do I do if my co-parent abducts our child?
Hiring a skilled Massachusetts child custody dispute attorney is important when issues arise regarding:
- supervised visitations
- modification of child custody orders
- enforcement of child custody orders
- relocation/removal across state or international borders.
Sometimes however, a parent that isn’t happy with the terms of the court’s child custody order in the divorce, unwisely and unlawfully chooses to circumvent the order and abduct their child to prevent the other parent from having access to them. Such action is referred to as “parental kidnapping” and often leads to the fugitive parent living life on the run and under the radar. When and if the fugitive is finally found, not only do they lose custody, but also face criminal charges.
Child custody is a two-prong process that involves physical custody and legal custody of the minor child. Physical custody–which parent the child will live with–can be sole for just one parent or joint for both parents. Legal custody determines which parent(s) will have the right to make important decisions regarding the child’s upbringing– such as education, health, religion, activities, and more. Like physical custody, legal custody can be granted solely to one parent or shared jointly by both parents.
Often, circumstances —such as a parent’s new job that necessitates relocation out-of-state – –may change at some point after the divorce, causing one or both parents to seek a modification order from the court, altering the terms of an existing child custody order.
Recently, a woman who allegedly fled Massachusetts two years ago with her then-3-year-old son after his father was awarded temporary sole custody, was found after an anonymous tip that she and the child were living in Florida. She was reportedly arrested and transported to Massachusetts on a fugitive warrant and her son was taken into custody by the Department of Children and Families to be returned to the custody his father.
If your child has been kidnapped by their parent or you need help with any other child custody dispute, including a modification order, Hebert Law Offices can help you. With a strong law enforcement and military background, attorney Hebert is uniquely qualified to assist in these sensitive and serious matters. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
From our offices in Worcester, Massachusetts, we assist clients throughout Norfolk and Middlesex Counties in all areas of family law.
Posted in: Divorce