Dallas, TX asked in Criminal Law and Divorce for Colorado

Q: Birth mother enticed 14 yr old son away from care without knowledge at a public venue under CO. Statute18-3-304

Birth mother attended same sporting event as me and kids. Without knowledge or communication to me as custodial parent my Ex wife texted my 14yr old out of stands to come meet her without my knowledge or consent. Is this criminal under 18-3-304 CO Statutes?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Douglas T. Cohen
Douglas T. Cohen
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Denver, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: The short answer is: No.

CRS 18-3-304 is a kidnapping statute. Applying the kidnapping statute to the type scenario you are describing is a major stretch.

One parent texting a child at a sporting event that you are at with your child, so they can meet and say hello for a few minutes etc. is not kidnapping. That is not taking the child from the custody of the other parent. This statute is normally enforced only in much more serious situations, like when one parent takes a child out of state or country, or moves the child out of state away from the custodial parent without court approval and without the other parent's knowledge or permission, etc .

In addition, generally speaking, in parenting plans, one parent is allowed to talk to the child (text, phone etc.) for reasonable duration during the other parent's parenting time.

If that is not allowed in your parenting plan, you can address that with her or her attorney out of court, via TalkingParent.com if used, or try to address it through an enforcement pleading in court (although judges generally cannot stand when parents and their counsel bring such minor things to them for litigation and tell the parents and counsel to work it out. The judge will want you to pick your battles and not put the child(ren) in the middle of minor parenting time/custody disagreements.)

However, if one parent has a habit of intruding on or interfering with the other parent's parenting time, or taking the child without notice out of state, etc., that can be a more serious issue that needs addressing.

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