Child Abduction

By Lauren Williams

California child abduction law attempts to fight the illegal taking of a minor child from a lawful custodian or person with visitation rights as defined by that law. A particular mental state is required to break that law. It also can be broken by parents, even in situations where there is no custody order regarding the child.

The taking, enticing away, keeping, withholding, or concealing of a child from a parent or legal custodian amounts to a criminal act under California law. Violations of this law can result in felony jail terms of up to three years in prison and a $10,000 fine. This law can be violated even by parents, grandparents, and other family members. The one exception is in the case of perceived harm to a child, and in this case you need to consult an attorney to determine if there is a legally allowable reason to withhold a child from persons with custody or visitation.

Children of divorce and in disputed parental situations sometimes fall victims to adult abuse and even abduction. It is a problem to be resolved quickly and with agreeable terms to all parties. Children should never become pawns in a divorce or separation.

Lauren Williams

About The Author

Lauren Williams is a legal writer for and the USA Law Network.