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Parental Kidnapping?

girlmeetsworld714's picture

Is it parental kidnapping or "custodial interference" if there is no custody order? My fiance's ex (to whom he was never married) has recently moved (still in the same state) but will not allow him to have the address to see their daughter. Since they were not married, there was no custody order put in place at the time of the split. He has his lawyer currently working out issues with domestic relations and then will be quickly moving on to filing for joint custody, but is this situation (she just moved this past weekend and has told told everyone not to tell my fiance where she moved) something that should be dealt with immediately? Or does it not matter because there is no custody order? We are in Pennsylvania, if that matters. Thank you!

Rags's picture

I would call the police reporting kidnapping and request that they issue an Amber Alert. It may not work but if it does and the police show up at her house with guns drawn and drag her off to jail it will at the very least give her some clarity on the consequences of being a toxic idiot.

Get that Court Order ASAP. It will be your strongest tool for protecting your fiance's daughter from the apparently shallow and polluted end of her gene pool.

Good luck.

Rags's picture

BM took the child without the permission of the father. Sounds like kidnapping to me. There is no custody order so he has as much claim to custody as BM does.

If BM had been awarded primary custody then maybe it would not be appropriate to kick her ass legally over this

It is not a false report it would be a perfectly factual report based on the information the OP gave in her original post which is the only information anyone giving an opinion has to go on.

That is where I get off in giving the opinion I gave.

Rhyleighblue's picture

You are right, Echo. The mother has sole custody and can do whatever she wants without the need of telling him anything about.

He needs to establish paternity first.

Then get a custody ordering in place.

Then pay CS to establish a "Father-Child" relationship based on his concern for the well-being of the child.

THEN... If she bails with the child he can call the police.

BadNanny's picture

Oh no! File a Police Report, upon which you show up in Court ASAP for an Ex Parte Temporary Order for joint (you can go for full if you think the kid is in danger) costody (you detail the schedule, the Judge signs it then and there and she will be served the next day. I hate when people do this. By her kidnapping the kid, it shows poor judgment and parental communication, upon which she might lose custody if she keeps it up. If they had a verbal agreement and a steady exchange pattern, it pretty much IS a custody schedule! NO ATTORNEY NEEDED, do it NOW!

Shaman29's picture

Agreeing with HRNYC and Echo on this matter.

The OP asked "Is it parental kidnapping or "custodial interference" if there is no custody order?"

It can't possibly be custodial interference if there is no custody order in the first place.

Your BF should have done something about custody and visitation the minute his child was born.

derb84123's picture

why young DH married BM originally... he figured itd be easier to marry and divorce her and get custody than to file as boyfriend. He was actually right. Ridiculous system we have.

Rags's picture

As the OP clearly stated not only once but twice, THERE IS NO CUSTODY ASSIGNED TO BM OR TO BIODAD!!!! To clear any distraction when reading for the pertinent points of the original post I have separated the key sentences from the possibly distracting surrounding sentences.

"Is it parental kidnapping or "custodial interference" if there is no custody order?"

"Since they were not married, there was no custody order put in place at the time of the split."

If typing slowly will help I can try that to make it easier to understand.

Since BM took the child without custody and without BioDad's permission kidnapping seems to be a viable charge and possibly an effective aggressive legal tactic for getting this demonstrably manipulative BM under control.

Clearly a single mother will be stiplated as the custodial parent in the overwhelming majority of cases but only when their is a CO. If there is no CO the BioDad has as much claim to custody as the BM.

In my apparently crazy layman’s opinion of course.

PeanutandSons's picture

Actually yes, I had my sons birth certificates in hand within 24 hour of delivering them.

Shaman29's picture

Exactly HRNYC.....

My DH had a situation where his kid "ran away" and the police only showed up to try and reason with Uberskank.

DH had the custody order with him, proving he had sole physical and legal custody. When Uberskank refused to release the skid to DH, the police officer turned to DH and said "Sorry, this is a civil matter and you'll need to speak to your family court judge."

Did this have any effect on future events? Was Uberskank charged with kidnapping? Was she charged with contempt of court? Fined? Jail time???

No. No. No. No and no.

3LittleDragonflies's picture

Rags, there are actually a lot of states (I know for sure MI does) that the unwed mother is automatically given full custody the moment a birth certificate is issued...

BadNanny's picture

Great post! In my State, any foul play will be considered against you, especially if you do it knowingly.

stormabruin's picture

The first thing police will do is ask about a custody order. When he tells them there isn't one, they're going to advise he get one.

That's it.

Kidnapping, Amber Alert, guns drawn, doo-doo, all sounds very powerful & dramatic & eventful, but if it's what you're expecting, I'm sorry to say this would have a pretty disappointing ending for you.

There is nothing stating that BM can't take her child with her when she goes anywhere. There is nothing stating she has to get his permission to do so. She didn't break any laws.

Anon2009's picture

Unfortunately, she does have sole custody by law. YOU. MUST. GET. A. COURT. ORDER.

Your fiancé needs to prove paternity, get on the BC, and get CS established.

girlmeetsworld714's picture

He does have proven paternity, he is on the birth certificate, and he does pay child support.

girlmeetsworld714's picture

They were on good terms and he was stupid enough to think that wouldn't change so he didn't get a custody order. Domestic Relations took over $2000 illegally from him in the past year so he was not able to afford a lawyer to file for custody. He is getting the $2000 loss straightened out now and filing for joint custody this week.

Rags's picture

Since the BioDad has initiated a CO IMHO he should still go after BM with guns blazing on every legal front possible.

Rags's picture

Usually very bright and hot. Wink It is my understanding that BioDad has engaged counsel who is interfacing with the authorities. I do not recall the name of the office their attorney is interfacing with since when I hit reply the OP drops off of the screen.

Rags's picture

Domestic relations. I guess that means between BioDad and BM. Okay, once he files he can move forward with the bring the pain legal campaign against the abducting BM.

SanAntonioSoccerMom's picture

I would be hesitant to say anything in an absolute in this case as there are exceptions to everything. While in this situation, it may not be kidnapping, a court will not look favorably on her for secreting the child from the other bio parent.

My husband was granted sole custody of two kids born out of wedlock. Paternity was never adjudicated for either boy, he was never even put on the BC. Still wondering how that happened, but hey, family court is weird.

My coworker just had to go to court first week in November because her "baby daddy" never married/no court order, would not return their child. If the law is so black and white that she was automatically SOLE custodian, why did she have to hire a lawyer and go to court? He wasn't charged with anything. So whatever. Never speak in absolutes as every state/situation/judge is different.

livia007's picture

The last case is because she didn't call the police. If there was no custody order, and they were never married, then he had no legal right to that child. Part of the problem is that people allow others to talk them out of enforcing their legal rights. She didn't need to take it to court. She needed to call the police and have them enforce the law and return the child to the sole legal guardian. If the cops wanted to call it a domestic/civil issue, then she should have demanded to speak to a shift supervisor and have her child returned. Choosing to go to family court when the other parent has no legal standing for child custody, is a disadvantage. The law is absolutely clear on this point, but some people don't know or enforce their legal rights in child custody.

girlmeetsworld714's picture

I found this on a PA legal aid website:


Only the parent the child lives with during the week has legal and physical custody of the child.


If there is no custody order both parents have equal rights to the child. Both parents have the right to make decisions for the child and either parent can take physical possession of the child at any time. Parents maintain equal rights to the child until a court order is granted and states otherwise.

Legal and physical custody are legal terms the court uses to describe the different types of custody the court can grant one or both parents.

Legal custody is the right to make important decisions about the child, such as medical and educational decisions. Joint legal custody is when both parents have this right. Sole legal custody is when only one parent has this right.

Physical custody describes who the child lives with and has the right to care for the child's everyday needs. There are several types of physical custody. Shared physical custody is when the child has has two homes and lives part of the time with one parent and part of the time with the other parent. Primary physical custody is when the court gives only one parent the right to have the child live with him/her most of the time. If one parent has primary custody, the court may give the other parent partial physical custody or visitation. Partial custody is when the child lives with the other parent, but stays with the other parent, such as on the weekends. Visitation is when a parent does not have any form of physical custody but has the right to spend time with the child."

BF talked to his lawyer and she says she could be held in contempt because of their child support order but not because of the custody. She also said that the judge will look down on her a lot for doing this so while it sucks big time, there's nothing we can do except watch BM screw herself over here until the case goes to a judge. Thanks for all your input, everyone!

texstep's picture

This is how it was for my DH too. He and BM were never married, DH was on the birth certificate, and they were living together. Then BM went took SS to visit her grandparents, changed her phone number, and never came back. DH was fucked. Yes he had rights, but so did BM; and since there was no custody agreement in place he couldn't do anything. Even though he had "equal rights", there were no guidelines set down for either of them to follow. So what could he charge BM with? Nothing.

Technically, BM didn't do anything wrong when she disappeared with SS-the8months; because there was no order saying she couldn't. Then again, the judge frowned upon BM for doing that; because there was nothing saying she could. In the end no consequences happened, the court established visitation and that was the end of that. Since BM was already in another state when they went to court, that did set a precedent though. DH couldn't put a relocation clause in the agreement (ex: both parties must remain with 25 miles of xx county, or obtain permission from the court prior to relocating). So now BM is free to move about the country whenever and wherever she likes, and only has to provide DH an address within 30 of relocating. Good luck.