If I had my husband’s written permission to take our children out-of-the country, canI be charged with kidnapping?

UPDATED: Jan 10, 2011

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If I had my husband’s written permission to take our children out-of-the country, canI be charged with kidnapping?

My husband and I filed for divorce. I have the primary custody of our children (3 and 5). He gave me written and signed permission to take the children out of country and now I’m in Japan. I’m planning to be back in U.S. in 2 weeks, but he suddenly threatened me that he wants full custody of the children, and he’s going to take legal action immediately. I have no intention of kidnapping our children, and I have his written permission. Can I still get arrested at the airport when I come back to U.S.?

Asked on January 10, 2011 under Family Law, California


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

He is playing games with you.  If he gave you written permission to take the children out of the country then he can not now decide to press charges unless he can prove that you do not have an intention to return.  I would contact your attorney as soon as you can and discuss the matter so that there are no "suprises" when you get off the plane in he United States upon your return.  As for the full custody issue, courts are not inclined to lean toward full custody for only one parent but prefer that they share custody of the children.  The best interests if the children will be the litmus test here.  Good luck. 

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