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What is the Uniform Child Abduction Prevention Act?

Though it is rare, there are divorce and custody cases so volatile that a parent considers kidnapping his or her own child. Unfortunately, even when that parent believes he or she is acting in the best interest of the child, parental kidnapping is illegal and will result in a scenario far worse than whatever the child might have endured otherwise.

If you believe your child is in danger and needs to be removed from a situation, you should contact law enforcement, as well as an attorney familiar with family law issues. An attorney will also help you if you believe your current custody or visitation arrangement violates your parental rights to the point that you are considering the abduction of your own child.

In order to protect children from abduction, Colorado enacted the Uniform Abduction Prevention Act in 2007. The purpose of the law was to strengthen the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act that already exists in 48 states by allowing the court to impose preventative measures before and after it begins making decisions about Parental Responsibility.

According to C.R.S. § 14-13.5-102, the court has the power to do a number of things to prevent child abduction, including:

• Imposing travel restrictions;
• Assigning the child's habitual residence;
• Creating detailed descriptions of each parent's custody and visitation rights;
• Implementing civil and criminal penalties for violations of visitation or custody;
• Prohibiting the removal of the child from any location without the court’s permission;
• Reviewing reasons for possible abduction, including previous attempts, threats of domestic abuse or stalking, activities of planned abduction, or dependency and neglect;
• Taking into account various other considerations, including the child’s age, the potential harm to the child from abduction, the legal difficulties of returning an abducted child.

The Uniform Abduction and Prevention Act applies to both wrongful removal and wrongful retention, which, according to the statute, includes:

(10) “Wrongful removal” means the taking of a child that breaches rights of custody or orders concerning the allocation of parental responsibilities or breaches rights of visitation or parenting time given or recognized under the law of this state.

(11) “Wrongful retention” means the keeping or concealing of a child that breaches rights of custody or orders concerning the allocation of parental responsibilities or breaches rights of visitation or parenting time given or recognized under the law of this state.

If your child has been abducted or you believe that your child is at risk for being abducted by his or her other parent, you need to take action fast. We can help. Contact Montgomery Little & Soran, PC at 303-773-8100.

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