When a couple is married, they both have physical custody rights to their children unless the court intervenes and directs custody otherwise.

Parental abduction or kidnapping is the basic idea that a child’s parent can be criminally charged with the abduction of their biological child. If one parent removes, retains, or conceals a child from the other parent, they can be charged with child abduction and it is the most common type of kidnapping. 

These types of abductions can occur within the state or even in the same city.

Child Abduction Laws

In some states within the U.S., parental abduction can be a criminal offense only if a formal custody order has been put in place by the court. Taking a child across state lines may also be considered a criminal offense and there has been work done by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws to draft the Uniform Child Abduction Prevention Act to bring uniformity to this issue. Currently, it has been “enacted, in some form, in 49 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and the District of Columbia.”

Punishments for Child Kidnapping in Georgia

In the state of Georgia, parental kidnapping is a serious crime. A parent that is found guilty of kidnapping their child who is under the age of 14 can face up to 25 years in jail and be sentenced to probation for life. 

Relocating Your Child

You may need to relocate your child outside the state of Georgia or even outside of the U.S., especially if you are a foreign national. If removing your biological child from the state would break your custody agreement, you can face parental abduction charges.

Modifying your custody agreement can be a lengthy process, but you will need to attempt to gain full custody of the biological child in order to relocate. You will need to show that the relocation and new custody agreement would be in the best interest of the child.

Please call us toll free at 866-214-7036 or fill out the contact form on our website. Serving Brunswick, GA and Glynn, Camden, Brantley, Wayne, Ware and McIntosh Counties.