Responding to Parental Abduction in Emergency Situations

Responding to Parental Abduction in Emergency Situations


When to Jump Into Action


Having your child taken from you can be frightening. Knowing the person who took your child doesn’t make the situation less scary. When parents abduct their children to deprive the other parent of his or her custodial rights, the stakes are very high. Even non-custodial parents may have some rights, and they may try to leverage those rights to assume custody of your child. If you find yourself in this situation, you should take immediate action.

Quick action is required when a child is abducted by a parent. Despite the legally established relationship between parent and child, parental abduction can extremely harmful to a child. For this reason, there are laws in place to protect children from parental abduction and give the non-offending parent legal recourse. If you believe your child is in imminent danger of being harmed, don’t hesitate to call 911. Law enforcement can help you take steps to ensure your child is not taken out of the country and explain how you can enforce your custodial rights. For example, in certain situations, you may be able to get temporary emergency custody and prevent the offending parent from having access to your child.

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) prevents parents from removing a child from his or her home state in order to seek a more favorable custodial judgment under another state’s jurisdiction. Under the UCCJEA, states must respect the child’s home state custody order. Offending parents cannot take the child to another state to seek custody under that state’s jurisdiction if a custody order already stands, and this presumably deters instances of parental abduction.

Nevertheless, parents may still abduct a child with the intent to deprive the custodial parent of his or her custodial rights. If your child has been abducted by his or her parent and you have reason to believe your child is in imminent danger, you should call 911, and then call an attorney.

Consult with an experienced New Jersey child welfare and child custody attorney if you suspect your child’s parent has committed parental abduction. An attorney can advise you on the best course of action that will protect your child’s best interests.


Are you concerned about parental abduction? The knowledgeable attorneys at the Williams Law Group, LLC know how important your child is to you and have the experience needed to defend your rights as a parent and protect your child’s best interests. Located in Union, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.


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