It can seem strange and unreasonable for a parent to kidnap their child, but this often happens when the other parent is unhappy with their custody rights or wants to get back at the other parent. Either way, a kidnapped child is a serious offense and can lead to harsh penalties.
If your child has been taken by their other parent without your consent and against their legal custody rights, you can seek legal action. A parental kidnapping attorney at King Law has the experience and resources you need to create a solid and reliable case. There are many legal channels and options available that can stop the other parent from harming or taking your child. We understand how difficult this time is and hope to help you with any questions and concerns.
How Does North Carolina Define Parental Kidnapping?
North Carolina’s law defines kidnapping in the North Carolina General Statute (NCGS) §14-39 as any person who confines, restrains, or removes anyone over the age of 16 without their consent or anyone under 16 without the consent of the legal guardian. Parent kidnapping refers to a parent who violates their custodial or visitation rights by keeping their child away from the other parent. For example, if a parent refuses to bring the child back to the other parent or flees with the child, they act within parental kidnapping.
There are several reasons why someone will commit a kidnapping; below are some of the following listed in North Carolina’s law that a person can receive punishment for:
- Holding child for a ransom or as a hostage
- Facilitating the commission of any felony
- Restraining, confining, or inflicting bodily harm to the child
- Holding the kidnapped child in involuntary servitude
- Trafficking the child with the intent of involuntary servitude or sexual servitude
- Subjecting the kidnapped individual to sexual servitude
You would not be the only one confused as to why a parent would want to risk their rights by taking their child, but sadly this is not unheard of with parents who have complex relationships with each other. There are some cases where a parent is not committing a parental kidnapping. If the other parent has a legal right to the child, you do not have the authority to dictate where your child spends time with the other parent.
What Are the Consequences of Parental Kidnapping in North Carolina?
A parental kidnapping can have severe consequences on the individual depending on the severity of the situation and the motion of the other parent. There are multiple paths the other parent can take, one of which is to file contempt in family court if the person violates a custody order. The severity of the penalties depends on whether the judge finds the individual in either civil or criminal contempt.
If the parent is found to have allegedly kidnapped their child, they may face criminal charges depending on if the child is injured or put in danger. Some of the main consequences a person can suffer include:
- Loss of custody
- Loss of parental rights
- Restrictions of visitation
- Possibility of a class E felony
- Possibility of class F felony
Having a parental kidnapping lawyer can help you figure out your best options and how to handle this stressful situation. A parental kidnapping can feel disorienting to navigate, but with the help of an experienced individual, you can feel confident in your decision.
What to Do in the Event of a North Carolina Parental Kidnapping?
Most individuals find it difficult to imagine a parent would or could kidnap their children. However, there are some instances where parents make the drastic decision to kidnap their children. If you are experiencing a similar situation and are unsure of what you should do, follow the suggestions below:
File a Police Report
The first thing you should do is to file a police report and make sure law enforcement is aware of this breach of a legal contract, as well as a kidnapping. You’ll need to include information on the child, like where they were last known to be and the names of the individual’s family and friends.
Provide Recent Photos and Descriptions
A recent picture of the child can help law enforcement notify others of a missing child. Not only is a recent photo important for the child, but also for the parent who kidnapped the child. Both descriptions of what they were wearing or any identifying features can help determine if they see the other parent.
Contact a Dependable Lawyer
Once you’ve notified law enforcement and have your phone available in case someone calls about the situation, it’s a good idea to use a different line to call your attorney. They can start putting into place the actions you’ll need to take to keep your child safe and away from another parental kidnapping.
When someone says kidnapping, they most often aren’t thinking of another parent. These stressful times can harm the relationship of the other parent and the child and significantly affect and endanger the child. In order to feel comfortable and safe, you should contact a parental kidnapping lawyer.
Contact a North Carolina Parental Kidnapping Attorney Today
Even after your child is back with you and safe from the other parent, you may still feel uncomfortable with interactions between your child and the parent who participated in parental kidnapping. At King Law, we understand the difficult choices you must make for the safety and well-being of your child and hope to help lift some of those burdens. When you work with our parental kidnapping lawyer, you’ll have the resources and tools to keep your child out of danger and safe.
Call (888) 748-KING (5464) or fill out our contact form for more information about how we can assist you.