Wytheville, VA asked in Family Law for Virginia

Q: If a 18 year old and her two 13 year old siblings are in a abusive household with their mother

(without the mother's knowledge) Can she take drive them in her car to their father's house so that they can all live together with a non abusive parent? Will the 18 year old face any kidnapping charges? Do the children have to show proof of the abuse?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Kellam T. Parks
Kellam T. Parks
  • Virginia Beach, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: If there is no court ordered custody/visitation, then both parents have equal rights to the children and the two 13-yr. olds can live with their father. We also suggest that communication ensure and a petition for custody be filed (with a request for an expedited or even an emergency hearing if warranted) before a unilateral change. Ultimately, the Court will determine what is in the children’s “best interests” as to where they should live and what kind of visitation is had between the parents. If they are being abused, then proof would need to be shown to be factored in. This could be general evidence or could be therapy-related, or even forensically if warranted. This hypothetical situation is very complicated and warrants careful attention by competent counsel.

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