What If My Ex-Spouse Took My Child?Putnam Law Office
When your ex-spouse takes away your child against your will, the situation can feel hopeless. You might start thinking you will never see your child again or that nothing can be done. The good thing is you can take several legal steps to have your child found and returned. There are also steps you can take after an Oklahoma divorce to prevent this from happening again. All you have to do is talk to an Oklahoma divorce lawyer to figure out these options.
What Counts as Parental Kidnapping?
While parental kidnapping might sound strange, this can and does happen. The main difference between usual kidnapping and parental kidnapping is that usual kidnapping involves a stranger taking your child. Since you know your ex-spouse took your child and where your ex-spouse lives, you have a higher chance of regaining custody of your child.
Any family member who takes your child against your will is engaging in a kidnapping. Hiding your child from you with the same intent also counts. However, gray areas can come up depending on other factors. For example, if your ex-spouse takes your child out-of-state, this may not be kidnapping if:
- This is written out and allowed in the child custody orders
- You know where your child will be and for how long
- Your child will be returned by a certain date
- Your ex-spouse is letting you still contact your child
Feel free to contact an Oklahoma family lawyer if you are not sure whether your situation involves kidnapping. A lawyer can run through your situation to figure out exactly what legal actions you can take. With the right guidance, you can then put restrictions in place to prevent this from happening again.
Legal Actions You Can Take for Parental Kidnapping
There are various legal actions you can take when your ex-spouse takes your child. When it comes to parental kidnapping laws, the legal consequences depend on what actions your ex-spouse took.
For example, some ex-spouses simply violate a child custody order in regard to visitation or not releasing the child back to the other parent. If this happened to you, then your ex-spouse could be charged with a felony that comes with a $5,000 fine. Police can take the child from your ex-spouse at this point. However, your ex-spouse can defend this action if they did so to protect the child.
Your ex-spouse can be charged with child stealing if your child was forcibly taken and hidden from you. A felony charge for this crime could result in jail time, fines, and restrictions in the future. Such restrictions may involve stricter child custody agreements and loss of visitation rights.
Divorce Lawyer in Oklahoma City
Having your child taken away can be a horrific experience to go through. Do not hesitate to ask an Oklahoma family attorney for legal help when your ex-spouse violated a child custody order. Consider calling the Putnam Law Office today at (405)-849-9149 for a consultation. Our legal team can work with you to regain custody of your child. Mr. Putnam is a dedicated lawyer in Oklahoma City who has helped hundreds of clients.