Guide: Kansas Parental Kidnapping Laws

Parental Kidnapping 00

Every year about 200,000 children are abducted by a parent in the United States with Kansas contributing to the numbers. Parental kidnapping is a traumatic experience that the other parent or child must never go through, but sadly it does happen.

Taking a child away from their other parent without consent or going against custody agreements may be considered parental kidnapping and will lead to a conviction by law.

Kansas statutes Section 21-5409 identifies parental kidnapping as the act of “taking or enticing away any child under the age of 16 years with the intent to detain or conceal the child from their parent, guardian, or other person having the lawful charge of such child.”

Under Kansas parental kidnapping law these actions are viewed as kidnapping:

  • When one parent defies custody agreements and takes the child away.
  • When a parent hides or holds a child away from the other parent.
  • When during child custody, marriage, or paternity proceedings one parent takes away or hides a child from the other.
  • If after divorce, one parent with no custody of the child takes the child to a secluded place without notifying the other parent.
  • If after visitation hours have ended, one parent declines to return the child to the other parent.
  • When a relative takes a child away to an isolated place as a way of hiding the child from its parents.

If your child has been kidnapped, you can get in touch with The Committee for Missing Children, Inc. and we will assist you with finding the right support to get your child home. Our help extends to abductions to other countries, so contact us today.

Parental Kidnapping Types

Parental kidnapping is categorized into two types under Kansas law- simple interference and aggravated interference with parental custody.

  1. Simple parental custody interference

Under Kansas parental kidnapping law, simple parental interference is when a child below 16 is taken away with the intention of hiding or holding the child from the other party. Depending on the circumstances involved in the case, the accused may face the punishment of up to level 10 of severity, person felony, or class A person misdemeanor.

  1. Aggravated parental custody interference

If one parent involves another person to interfere with their parental custody by doing the actions above, then the issue is aggravated. It will also be considered a crime if:

  • A parent without custody takes a child outside the state without permission from the parent with custody or the court.
  • A person who was convicted over parental custody has committed the crime again.
  • A person holds or hides a child within or outside the state in an unidentified place.
  • After parental or visitation time has expired, the parent has refused to return the child to the parent with custody.

This is a severity level 7, person felony.

Possible Penalties

Parental abductions are punishable under Kansas law though punishment is given based on circumstances and the offense’s severity. Possible penalties may include:

  • A heavy fine
  • Prison sentences that can range from a few months to years
  • A criminal record
  • Loss of visitation rights or child custody
  • Reimbursing or paying for incurred costs when the child was being located and returned home
  • Loss of the right to own, carry or possess a firearm
  • If the parent/person was a non-US citizen, they may be deported or barred from entering the country
  • Increased trouble securing a job, a house, or government aid or when obtaining other types of financial loans

The Committee of Missing Children helps parents recover a missing child to cover the cost of expenses involved in locating and returning your child to you. Our help is provided for free.

Kansas law also equips parents with a tool to help prevent parental abduction. A parent can file a prevention order against abduction that will set travel restrictions against the other parent, prohibit the other parent from traveling with the child without your consent or limit visitation time if there is a threat of abduction. The abduction prevention order is given by a judge if there is a risk of kidnapping.