When you are going through a divorce, you likely want to get as far away from your ex as possible. However, if you have kids, you will need to be careful with the actions you take because some actions you take with your children could be considered kidnapping. If you find yourself in a situation where your custody of your children is in jeopardy during divorce, it's essential to speak with a divorce attorney.
Access to Your Child
As long as both you and your ex have custody of your children, you are not allowed to physically bar your ex from access to your child. For example, you cannot take an extended vacation outside the country while you are going through a divorce.
Besides potentially losing custody of your child, you may also risk facing criminal charges. The type of charges you might face can depend on the state in which you reside and you should speak to your attorney before making any decisions that you fear may be seen as kidnapping.
Potential Crimes You May Be Charged With
Kidnapping is a crime that can lead to several years in prison and expensive fines. However, if you take your children without permission, you're more likely to be charged with child abduction. If you hide your child or move your child far away, without the permission of your ex, you may be accused of child abduction.
After the divorce, you may have a custody arrangement that you will need to abide by. If your actions violate the custody rights of your ex, you may be charged with interference of custody. This is especially true if you do not allow court-mandated visitation to occur. The judge is also more likely to take away your custody until they believe that it is in the best interest of your child for you to have custody again.
Justifications for Barring Access to Your Child
If you believe that the other parent is a threat to your child, you will want to take legal action that may protect your child from the other parent. For example, your ex might have made physical threats against your child. You may believe that your ex does not give your child adequate care.
However, if you are taking these drastic actions, you will need to present evidence that your actions are justified so that you will not be at risk of losing custody of your child.