In the case of a divorce or an annulment of marriage, the parties would separate their lives. What was once intertwined would change into something that none of them expected. Divorce changes a lot of things. Not only your relationship with your ex-spouse, the one you previously called the love of your life, but also that of your children.
In our experience, parents are now concerned about the penalties that they would face when they are charged with parental kidnapping in Michigan. Different scenarios have happened in the past two years alone. Let us look at them.
In some situations, the pandemic has brought out the worst situations in co-parenting imaginable. In one of our consultations, the client was charged with parental kidnapping because he failed to return the child to the custodial parent. After all, they got exposed to the coronavirus and had the child in quarantine.
On the other hand, another consultation led us to the situation where the non-custodial parent was caught positive with the coronavirus and failed to return to the child. Instead, the child was given to his grandparents and the grandparents did not return the child to the custodial parent until their son got better.
There were also situations of lockdowns and quarantines that forced the non-custodial parent to keep the child longer because the custodial parent was exposed to the virus but was a coronavirus non-believer. There are so many of these situations even before the pandemic. With that, let us discuss the concept of parental kidnapping in Michigan and what one needs to know about it.
In the most basic sense, kidnapping happens when a person abducts a child and demands a ransom for him to return the child. There is often a monetary aspect involved in the matter.
Under Michigan law, in 750.349. Kidnapping, a person commits the crime of kidnapping when he or she restrains another person intending to do one or more of the following:
- Hold that person for ransom or reward;
- Use that person as a shield or hostage;
- Engage in criminal sexual penetration or criminal sexual contact prohibited under chapter LXXVI1 with that person;
- Take that person outside of this state;
- Hold that person in involuntary servitude; or
- Engage in child sexually abusive activity, as that term is defined in section 145c.2 with that person if that person is a minor.
On the other hand, there is a unique kind of kidnapping in family law that you should also know about, the concept of parental kidnapping.
An individual is guilty of parental kidnapping in Michigan when there is a violation of 750.350a which defines the crime of taking or retaining a child by the adoptive or natural parent.
Generally, the law provides the following:
- An adoptive or natural parent of a child shall not take that child, or retain that child for more than 24 hours, with the intent to detain or conceal the child from any other parent or legal guardian of the child who has custody or parenting time rights under a lawful court order at the time of the taking or retention, or from the person or persons who have adopted the child, or from any other person having lawful charge of the child at the time of the taking or retention.
The prosecutor only needs to prove here that the individual took or kept the child for more than 24 hours and that the individual had the intention to keep or to conceal the child from the parent or the legal guardian who has legal custody or visitation rights at the time.
Is parental kidnapping only applicable against non-custodial parents?
No, any individual who took or kept a child for more than 24 hours and who had the intention to keep or conceal that child from the parent or legal guardian or from the other parent who has visitation rights or a person who had lawful charge of the child can be charged with parental kidnapping.
What is the punishment for parental kidnapping?
A person who is found guilty of a felony of parental kidnapping is punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year and 1 day, or a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or both.
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We have been around. We have handled hundreds of cases on family law, custody battles, and parenting. We can help you fight for your rights and work your way around getting that parenting time that you deserve. Haque Legal is here. You can find that the best kind of experience for you is to hire our law firm.
Here at Haque Legal, we always have your back. Make sure that on your first free consultation we tell you everything that you need to know about your divorce or custody case as well as the cost and the expenses that would be associated with it.
The consultation is free for the first time because we understand that you need to at least have that guidance coming from a reputable law firm and lawyer to assess your case. If you have concerns about your divorce or custody case and you need a lawyer to handle it you can always contact our law firm and we can talk about your situation and the best way that we can handle it, especially in terms of the expenses.
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The article that you have read is based on general applications of the law. It is not legal advice and it is not to be construed as any legal consultation with the firm. No client-attorney relationship is created when you read the articles we have provided.
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