• Divorce Home
  • About the Firm
  • Legal Fees
  • Contact Us

Parental Law and Kidnapping

09/09/13 5:00 PM

Family

Sometimes, divorce is resolved amicably and with ease. However, in many cases, divorce is a difficult and lengthy process. Especially if there is a custody battle involved in the divorce, tension can arise between the soon-to-be ex spouses. In some cases, coming to an agreement that is suitable for both parties seems impossible. If this happens, one spouse may feel that he or she has few plausible options for keeping custody of his or her children. As a result, drastic measures can be taken. While you might think that your spouse would never take your children without your consent, this does occur during Connecticut divorce. Luckily, Connecticut law protects parents from the removal of their children from the state without the consent of both parents. There are 2 laws in Connecticut that address this type of kidnapping during or after a divorce. There is also a federal law that prohibits the removal of children from the United States (18 USC §1204(a)).

One law that prohibits parents from taking children without the consent of the other parent is found in Connecticut’s general statute under section 53A-98. This law refers to custodial interference in the second degree and defines this crime as follows: “Class A misdemeanor: (a) A person is guilty of custodial interference in the second degree when: (1) Being a relative of a child who is less than sixteen years old and intending to hold such child permanently or for a protracted period and knowing that he has no legal right to do so, he takes or entices such child from his lawful custodian; (2) knowing that he has no legal right to do so, he takes or entices from lawful custody any incompetent person or any person entrusted by authority of law to the custody of another person or institution; or (3) knowing that he has no legal right to do so, he holds, keeps or otherwise refuses to return a child who is less than sixteen years old to such child’s lawful custodian after a request by such custodian for the return of such child. (b) Custodial interference in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor.” CONN. GEN. STAT. § 53A-98 (2011).

Another form of kidnapping by a parent is considered custodial interference in the first degree, which is a class D felony. This statute reads, “(a) A person is guilty of custodial interference in the first degree when he commits custodial interference in the second degree as provided in section 53a-98: (1) Under circumstances which expose the child or person taken or enticed from lawful custody or the child held after a request by the lawful custodian for his return to a risk that his safety will be endangered or his health materially impaired; or (2) by taking, enticing or detaining the child or person out of this state.” CONN. GEN. STAT. § 53a-97 (2011).

If your ex spouse has taken your children out of Connecticut without your consent, please contact the police. Once this is done, contact a Connecticut divorce attorney to help get court orders returning the children to you that the court in another state will enforce. Try not to panic, and remember that we can help you get your child home safely.

Posted by Stephen Lebedevitch | in Post Divorce | Comments Off on Parental Law and Kidnapping

Comments are closed.