Child Abduction-What is it?

Many people may think there is a simple definition of what child abduction is but 720 ILCS 5/10-5 actually lays out what child abduction is and isn’t, and to many people’s surprise, much of the definition is focused on one the parents abducted the child, not a stranger. The complete statue can be viewed here:

Child abduction is known as:

·         Concealing or detaining a child or removing a child from the jurisdiction of the court when there is a valid custody order;

·         Violating a court order prohibiting concealing or detaining a child;

·         If paternity is not established or if it has, but no custody order is in place, concealing or detaining or removing a child from the mother or lawful custodian;

·         A mother can commit child abduction if she intentionally conceals/removes a child whom she has abandoned or relinquished custody of, from an unadjudicated father who has provided sole ongoing care and custody of the child in her absence;

·         Intentionally concealing or removing a child from a parent after filing a petition or being served with a petition concerning dissolution, paternity, or custody but prior to the entry of any orders concerning custody;

·         Failing to return a child after the expiration of visitation rights outside of the state (intentionally);

·         If as a parent and married/or have been and no custody order in place, concealing the child for 15 days without giving notice to the other parent of the exact location of child and means to contact child (exceptions made in cases of domestic violence);

·         If a parent and if are or have been married and there is no custody order in place but knowingly conceals, detains or removes the child with physical force or threat or force;

·         If a person knowingly conceals, detains, removes a child for payment or promise or payment at the instruction of a person who has no legal right to custody;

·         Keeping in this state a child from another without the consent of the lawful custodian for 30 days of more;

·         Intentionally luring or attempting to lure a child under the age of 17 into a vehicle, building, dweliing place etc. without consent of the child’s parent for other than a lawful purpose.

What is not Child Abduction?

·         If there is no custody order and either legal parent takes the child for a period of time, less than 15 days, or has not hidden the child from the other parent, this is not child abduction.


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