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Could your custody issue lead to parental kidnapping charges?

Sharing custody in Colorado often means dealing with constant microaggressions and micromanagement from your ex. They may complain about everything from what you feed the children to how you let them dress during your parenting time.

Sometimes, one parent will try to use the parenting plan as a weapon against the other. For example, your ex might call the police to report you for parental kidnapping if you are 40 minutes late dropping the children off due to traffic or some kind of vehicle issue. However, such cases often quickly resolve themselves as the intent obviously wasn’t actually kidnapping.

When might you find yourself credibly accused of parental kidnapping under Colorado law?

When you directly interfere with your ex’s parenting time

If you decide that you are done sharing custody because the kids would be happier with you full-time, you might decide that moving to Wyoming is the right solution. After talking with the kids and making some arrangements, you pick them up for a weekend visit, only to try to leave the state.

In a situation where you violate restrictions on travel or parenting time by keeping your children far longer than you should or taking them places you do not have the authority to, that could result in allegations of parental kidnapping.

When you convinced the kids to leave the custody of the other parent

Some parents, afraid of parental kidnapping accusations, will convince their children to pack up and leave, making it a runaway situation on paper rather than a parental kidnapping.

Although this might seem like a way to avoid charges, any evidence that you convinced the children to behave this way could lead to charges, as could the police or your ex discovering the children in your custody after they left your ex’s home. Your home will likely be the first place authorities look for your children when your ex reports them missing.

As hard as it can be to share custody with someone you don’t like much anymore, staying on good terms with them will be what is best for your kids in most cases. Understanding that the wrong moves when you share custody could lead to kidnapping charges to help you protect yourself and your time with your kids.