Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.
“My ex-wife was given permission by the courts to move the children out-of-country to Germany and subsequently relocated to a military base in the Marshall islands without notification to myself or the courts. The court orders state that I am to have visitation every summer and alternate major holidays along with liberal communication. To this point, none of my scheduled visitations have occurred and I have only been able to speak with my children on 2 occasions, and not from lack of effort on my part. I have been to the courts, the police, and the military seeking assistance in getting the standing orders to be enforced. My attorney has helped to no avail as well. I have just find out that my children were relocated once again with out my knowledge, but to where is unknown. This is another attempt by my ex-wife to conceal their location and keep me from visitation/contact with my children. Since my ex-wife is the custodial parent, is this in any way considered parental kidnapping or any other criminal offense or is it okay for her to continue alienating me from my children in this way. It scares me the damage that has already been done to our relationships through brainwashing/mental abuse. We all know if I was to stop paying my child support the courts would put me in jail, but there seems to be no consequence for her actions. I am at the end of my rope and looking for any advice or assistance.”Actually this is, sadly, not a unique situation.
Question: If (and only if) you have very specific orders from the court, detailing exactly when the children are supposed to be with you, then your ex-wife may indeed be guilty of parental kidnapping – even though she has primary custody – if she has kept the children from you during dates that the court order specifically says that the children should be with you. If you do not have such a highly specific order, you should ask your lawyer to request a hearing from the Court in order to get one.