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Legal options after Tennessee parent abducts child?

While many parents in Tennessee may not be on the best terms, most do not experience dire situations involving a parent abducting their child. Parent abduction occurs when a child's adoptive or biological parent takes possession of their children in a manner not consistent with their child custody arrangement. The manner in which this happens can vary, but essentially, it leaves a child's whereabouts as somewhat of a question mark for the child's custodial parent. There are legal options available to those seeking them in family court.

If a child has in fact been abducted, criminal charges should be filed immediately and the proper authorities need to be notified in order to take the appropriate action. Sometimes parental abduction occurs when two parents are in the process of a child custody dispute. Sometimes abduction has happened when one parent believed that they would not get primary custody or a level of custody with which they would be satisfied.

There are many reasons that a parental abduction may occur. The point is that if this has happened in the past, it is best to prevent it from happening again. The complaint should be taken to family court where the action can be considered by a family law judge. Oftentimes this could result in a downgrade of child custody (for instance from joint custody to visitation) for the parent who violated the custody arrangement. International abduction can be much more complicated and should be taken seriously by the concerned custodial parent.

Whatever the circumstances, parental abduction is no joke to a parent who loves their child. Consequences will befall the parent who makes a poor choice in abducting their child. Ensuring that these consequences are enforced are, in part, the responsibility of the concerned custodial parent. Putting these offenses on family court record can help the court to judge a parent's abilities to parent effectively.

Source: FindLaw, "What legal remedies are available in a parent abducts a child," April 11, 2016

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