Child Abduction: Parental Danger, not Stranger Danger

Many people may think there is a simple definition of “child abduction,” but it is not always the way you hear about it on the news.  The law, codified at 720 ILCS 5/10-5, focuses a great deal on parental abduction, which is far more common than stranger abduction.

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 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 the child (exceptions made in cases of domestic violence);

·         If no custody order is in place but a parent 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 of 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, or dwelling place without the 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 a 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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