Parents who abduct or kidnap their children in Illinois and other states violate both federal and state laws as well as their custody orders. Depending on the state, judge, and family circumstances, the parent who kidnapped the child may permanently lose his or her custody rights. He or she could also face criminal charges with penalties such as jail time, loss of visitation rights, and steep fines.
When a parent kidnaps a child and remains in the U.S., law enforcement officials, such as the FBI and other state and federal authorities, are the best option. They are experienced in these matters and best equipped to search for the missing child. Parents are allowed to hire private investigators to conduct their own investigations, but this course of action can be very expensive.
International abductions present a much larger problem. The Hague Convention on International Child Abduction is an international treaty some countries have agreed to follow. Legal and political pressure may prove to be beneficial in finding a missing child and bringing him or her home. Public officials could use their influence to aid in the child's return. If the parent absconds with a child to a country that hasn't agreed to the treaty, then the situation is more complicated.
When someone's child gets abducted by the other parent, he or she may want to consult with an experienced family law attorney. A lawyer may petition the court for more protection or a child custody modification. An attorney could file investigation reports from state and federal authorities regarding the abduction as well as argue for the plaintiff's fitness as a parent and the child's best interests.