Child abduction by a parent is a crime in Michigan

Custody in Michigan – Child abduction law in Michigan

child abductionChild abduction by a parent is a felony Michigan which means it is punishable by more than 1 year in prison.  The Michigan Penal Code Act 328 of 1931 can be found in MCL 750.350a and is commonly known as the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act.  


The Michigan Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act provides that a parent shall not take a child or retain a child for more than 24 hours with the intent to conceal the child from another parent.  

Child abduction by a parent is more common than you might think.  According to, child abduction by a parent occurs over 203,000 times per year and can occur for many reasons such as to punish the other parent, fear of losing parenting time or to protect a child from abuse or neglect.  Whatever the reason, child abduction by a parent is both a crime in Michigan as well as a federal crime.

Custody in Michigan – Child abduction by a parent is a federal law crime

International child abduction by a parent is also a federal crime.  The crime can be found in United States Code 18 U.S. Section 1204.  The federal statute provides whoever removes a child from the United States, or attempts to do so, or retains a child who has been in the United States outside the United States with the intent to obstruct the lawful exercise of parental rights shall be fined or imprisoned for not more than 3 years, or both.

International Child abduction by a parent and the Hague Convention

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (“Hague Convention”) requires participating countries to return victims of child abduction by a parent.  Unfortunately, not every country is a participating country.  I have attached this link of the U.S. Hague Convention Treaty Partners provided by the U.S. Department of State.  Michigan custody and parenting time law requires that every custody and parenting time order prohibit a parent from taking a child to a country that does not participate in the Hague Convention without the express consent of the other parent.

How to protect your child from being a victim of child abduction by a parent.

In a previous blog post, we addressed what a parent can do to protect a child from child abduction by a parent and identify the red flags.  

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By: Daniel Findling

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