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Parental Kidnapping

What happens when a parent leaves the state with a child without permission or court order? This is one of the scariest circumstances that a parent can encounter. The uncertainty, the emotion and just plain anger towards the other parent are the precise reasons to retain an experienced and aggressive attorney immediately before certainremedies disappear. • When divorce, legal separation or custody cases are filed in Colorado, the law or an automatic injunction prevents either party from taking the children from the state, even temporarily, without express permission from the other spouse or from the court. • If no court orders exists (for example, no divorce or custody orders have ever been issued), the law can be frustrating because each parents has equal right to their children in the absence of court orders. • But this doesn't mean that real options don't exist. One may pursue a motion for the immediate return of a child or, in some cases, an emergency motion to restrict the parenting time of the parent who took the child or children from the State. Bear in mind that obtaining an order for the return of a child will also involve coordination with the local authorities to enforce the court order. Accordingly, It may be possible to obtain appropriate orders from our courts (e.g. a writ of assistant) that can be used by another state to enforce our local court's order. If the Other Removes or Threatens to Remove a Child Should you find yourself in a situation where the other parent wrongfully removes (or even threatens to remove) the child/children from the state, you should seek legal assistance immediately, as there are measures you can take in order to try and force the other parent to return the child. • In some cases where a parent threatens to take a child, You may file a Motion for Abduction Prevention Measures. • If there are current parenting time orders in place and a parent wrongfully removes the child from the state, the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA) offers protection to the child. • Regardless of the situation, it is more important to seek professional legal advice immediately, so you know what your options are and which courses of action to take and which actions to avoid. The PKPA is federal law. Federal law dictates that a state that exercises appropriate jurisdiction continues and maintains exclusive jurisdiction under every party has left that state. • Unfortunately, the PKPA, is simply a preventative act. If a party has already wrongfully removed a child from Colorado, the PKPA provides little help. • If the child has been removed to another country, an action can be filed under the Hague Convention to have the child returned. Remedies under the Hague Convention are powerful and relatively swift, but only apply to countries which have signed the treaty. • Due to the highly complex nature of laws pertaining to wrongful removal of children from the State or the United States, it is important and time-critical to contact a lawyer immediately, without delay, to avoid unnecessary complications or the elimination of certain options. What if I need to remove my child or children from the other parent? In many instances, you must rightly remove a child from the care of another parent for safety concerns or because the parent or guardian are a risk to take or abduct the child. • In cases of child abuse, neglect, or situations involving domestic violence, alcohol or drug abuse, you must protect your children and yourself from the actual or potential harm of the other parent. • If you find yourself in such an emergency circumstance and are contemplating removing the child from either the state or from the care or control of the other party, you need professional legal assistance. You should make sure that the entire process is handled in a legally recognized manner and that the reasons for removing a child can be substantiated or supported when challenged later by the other parent. Child Custody Dispute: Which State Will Decide? If children are in a different state, you as a parent need legal help determining where to file your case. Determining which state has jurisdiction to enter child custody orders is sometimes the first issue that must be resolved before proceeding into the issue of parenting plans, custody orders and even child support. The UCCJEA provides guidance as to which state has jurisdiction to hear a custody or parenting dispute. • Once a child has been present in a state for at least six months, that state becomes the "home state" of the child; and any disputes on parenting can be heard in that state. • If the child has not been present in any state for at least six months, the court will look into other factors to determine whether that state is the appropriate jurisdiction or venue for the case. • Once a state exercises jurisdiction over a parenting matter, that state retains jurisdiction until such time as the child moves away; then a new state establishes or obtains jurisdiction. It’s even possible for a state to decline or relinquish jurisdiction. Appropriate legal assistance may provide insight, strategy and aggressive representation in even the most complex or heated jurisdictional disputes. Often, it is to a client’s advantage to have a local court exercise jurisdiction in other instances where an out-of-state client needs our assistance here in Colorado to fend off an attempt to pull jurisdiction here. If you recently moved to Colorado Referral to appropriate legal professional may assist you in registering your orders in the Colorado courts, a process known as the registration of a foreign decree. The procedure to register another state’s orders involves both an issue of timing and an issue of proper procedures, including the coordination of the exemplified or official record of the original state. Remember that if we achieve an order allowing a relocation from Colorado, we may need to record the order in the next state to provide for additional enforcement remedies. Partial content from Drexler Law Group For more information and possible assistance visit www.The

#kidnapping #custody #childcustody #divorce #parentalrights

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