What is the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act?

The Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA) is a federal law that was enacted in order to prevent a parent from removing a child from one state to another in an attempt to prevent the other parent from getting custody of or having access to the child. It requires one state to give the legally valid custody or visitation determination of another state full faith and credit. In other words, the PKPA requires a state to enforce and not modify another state’s legal custody or visitation order. The goal is to avoid a parent being able to take a child to another state and get a custody or visitation order that is not consistent with the original state’s order.

In too many cases, however, parental abductions occur before a parent has time to obtain or even file for a custody order for a child. The PKPA does contain language that presumes that preventing child abduction is always in a child’s best interest, and even identifies some risk factors that might indicate a parental kidnapping might occur, such as:

Previous attempts or threats by a parent to abduct the child

Leaving one’s job or career

Selling one’s primary residence or terminating a lease

Closing bank accounts, liquidating retirement accounts, and selling assets

If you have recently noticed any of these signs in your child’s other parent, it is possible that parental kidnapping is a risk. You should immediately seek legal assistance and explore your options for obtaining a custody order for your child and preventing a potential parental kidnapping.

Contact the Law Offices of Vincent W. Davis & Associates today and let us show you how we can assist you with your California child custody case. Our attorneys focus their practice primarily on family law and related issues such as child custody, no matter how complicated your case may be. We can answer your questions, calm your concerns, and help guide you through the often complex process of contested child custody disputes.