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Does parental alienation lead up to parental kidnapping?

On Behalf of | Jan 7, 2021 | Family Law

Parental alienation is something you may understand, just as you might be aware of the risk of parental kidnapping. However, did you know that the two could be linked?

A parent who tries to alienate their children from the other could be preparing to restrict access to those children altogether. That’s why signs of parental alienation must be addressed, and you need to make sure that the other parent cannot legally leave with your children without approval.

Why does parental alienation leave children susceptible to kidnapping?

In an ideal world, a child would have a positive relationship with both parents. In those types of situations, a child would likely speak out if one parent suddenly started to keep them away from the other parent. They might ask for the other parent or call on their own.

That’s not what happens when alienation is involved. In cases of parental alienation, children are indoctrinated against the other parent. The child may become frightened of the other parent or believe that the only way to escape harm is to avoid them completely. Then, when their other parent takes them away, they also believe it’s in their best interests. They don’t fight it, and that makes it harder for the other parent to get them back.

What is parental kidnapping, and does it have to involve moving?

While most people think of parental kidnapping as physically taking a child away, it doesn’t necessarily have to include a move. Parental kidnapping is defined as taking, hiding or keeping a child away from the other parent without consent. For instance, hiding a child in the home when the other parent attempts to pick them up could result not only in custody interference charges but also kidnapping charges if the child cannot be located.

Typically, parental kidnapping does involve a move, either locally, domestically or internationally. In those cases, one parent takes the children away and does not inform the other parent, which violates the custody agreement.

If you’re concerned about signs of alienation and the risk of your children being kidnapped, be sure to speak with your attorney about your options. There are protections that can be put into place to prevent this kind of situation from occurring.