When parents in Virginia divorce or break-up they are often left with a lot of bitter feelings toward one another. Compounding the animosity they may have with each other is the painful reality that if they share child custody there will be times when their child will not be in their care, but in the care of their ex instead. This can cause hard feelings. One parent may feel like their ex is not a good parent, and their child shouldn't be left in their ex's care. Or a parent may simply want to get back at or in some other way hurt their ex.
For these, or other reasons, one parent may prevent the child from spending time with the other parent during that parent's court-ordered parenting time with the child. A parent might refuse to drop the child off, or may abscond with the child to a location unknown to the other parent. Doing so, however, is wrongful and if a parent who absconds with a child is caught, they could lose their rights to the child.
If you find yourself in a situation where your ex refuses to let you exercise your lawful parenting time with your child, or if your ex has absconded with your child, the situation may seem hopeless. Fortunately, parents in such situations have legal rights. Laws such as the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act and the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act aim to help parents who may live in one state while their child has been taken to another state enforce their child custody rights.
At our firm, we have assisted clients in locating their child if their child has been kidnapped or wrongfully retained by his or her other parent. We help parents enforce their child custody orders, and we help parents seek modifications when necessary. Children deserve to have a close relationship with both of their parents, so if this relationship is unlawfully interfered with, it is important for parents to understand what their rights are so they can act accordingly.