Florida Parental Kidnapping Attorney

Florida Divorce Attorney Assisting Families with Parental Kidnapping Issues

Many people think the term parental kidnapping is a contradictory phrase, but this issue is extremely important when it comes to divorce and other family law matters. Parental kidnapping occurs when one parent deprives the other parent of his or her legal right to custody or visitation by illegally taking the child out of the jurisdiction without notice or permission. However, there are situations where parental kidnapping is allowed, like when one parent is abusive, neglectful, or exposing a child to something that can be seen as harmful.

Florida Statute 61.45 changed this year to include new preventative measures to reduce the risk of parental kidnapping.  A court can impose certain restrictions if the court finds there is a credible risk that one parent will remove the child from the state without the knowledge of the other parent.

At Mercedes R. Wechsler, P.A., we handle all types of issues that involve parental kidnapping with care and compassion as well as with comprehensive, aggressive legal action. We are here to help you deal with a parental kidnapping issue in a way that amicably resolves the matter allowing the parties to preserve their relationship for the sake of the children, as well as come up with creative solutions that will be accepted by the court. If you have a parental kidnapping question or issue, contact our office to speak with an experienced family law attorney today.

Our attorneys have experience handling the following sensitive parental kidnapping situations:

  • Cases involving child abduction by a parent who is a known batterer
  • Incidents where parents flee from an abusive spouse to protect their children
  • Parents who move out of state or out of the country and take the children without the other parent's permission, court approval or against a court order

Parental Kidnapping Legislation

No matter what situation you find yourself in, if you are confronted with the issue of parental kidnapping, it is critical that you speak to our attorneys before you attempt to deal with the situation yourself. Our lawyers can help you resolve the situation legally and we can use the legal tools provided by the law to help protect you, your family and your standing with the court if future issues arise.

There is federal legislation called the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act 1980 (PKPA) that was passed to help resolve child custody cases where there are jurisdictional conflict issues, specifically matters that involve the crossing of state lines. If your case involves movement to another country, the International Child Abduction Remedies Act (ICARA) will also control how action should be taken. Along with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJA), of which Florida has adopted its own version, these laws are designed to help resolve these types of disputes.

How We Can Help You

Using these laws, we can help protect, amend, or litigate matters where one parent takes the children against the other parent's wishes. If you feel your parental kidnapping actions are justified because there has been domestic violence, we can help you argue that an emergency protective order should be issued. We will prove you were in imminent harm and that you are acting proactively or based on previous experience, using prior arrest or other supporting evidence.

Whether you have been accused of parental kidnapping or you believe your former spouse has committed child abduction, we are here to help. By representing both sides of the issue, we are equipped to handle the strategies employed for every set of circumstances. Contact us today if you have a parental kidnapping issue that demands sophisticated and sensitive counsel.