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Know the Laws: Kansas

UPDATED September 26, 2017

State Parental Kidnapping Information

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Parental kidnapping can be quite complicated.  For specific advice, please contact a lawyer who is familiar with Kansas custody laws.  For free and paid lawyers, go to our KS Finding a Lawyer page.  You can also contact us directly if you need additional information.

back to topI am afraid the other parent will take our children out of the state or country. What can I do?

As a party to a child custody case, you can file a petition asking for an abduction prevention order.*  If the judge decides that there is a credible risk that the other parent will abduct the child, s/he should grant you an abduction prevention order.**

* K.S.A. § 38-13a04
** K.S.A. § 38-13a08(b)

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back to topHow could an abduction prevention order help me?

There are a number of different things that an abduction prevention order can include.  For example, the order could:

  • Set up travel restrictions that require a person traveling with your child outside of a certain area to give you a travel itinerary, list of addresses and phone numbers to where your child will be staying, and copies of all travel documents (i.e. airline tickets); and/or
  • Completely prohibit the other party from removing the child from the state or the country without first getting permission from the court or your written consent; and/or
  • Require that the other party register the order in another state before taking your child into that state; and/or
  • Require that your child’s passport be surrendered to your attorney or the judge; and/or
  • Limit the other parent’s visitation or require that it be supervised until the judge thinks that there is no longer a threat of abduction; and /or
  • Include any other restrictions or requirements that the judge thinks will help decrease the risk of abduction.*
Note: Remember that an abduction prevention order does not guarantee your child's safety and should be used in conjunction with other safety measures.  For help in creating a safety plan, you may want to talk to an advocate at a local domestic violence organization.  Please see KS State and Local Programs to find one in your area.

* K.S.A. § 38-13a08(d)

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back to topHow long does an abduction prevention order last?

It depends on the order. It could last as long as the judge decides that it should (in which case the expiration date would be in the order), until it is modified by another order, or until your child turns 18.*

* K.S.A. § 38-13a10

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back to topWhat will a judge consider when deciding whether or not to grant me an abduction prevention order?

A judge will grant an abduction prevention order when s/he thinks that there is a credible risk that the other parent will abduct the child.  When deciding whether or not this risk exists, the judge must consider any evidence of whether the other parent:

  • Abducted, tried to abduct, or threatened to abduct the child before;
  • Started doing things that seem as though s/he is preparing to abduct the child (i.e. quitting his/her job, selling his/her house, applying for a passport or visa, trying to get your child’s birth certificate, etc;
  • Committed domestic violence, stalking, child abuse or neglect;
  • Violated any custody order;
  • Does not have strong ties to Kansas or to the United States;
  • Does have strong ties to another state or country;
  • Is likely to take your child to a country that is not part of the Hague Convention or that is part of the Convention but is noncompliant or does not have the ability to immediately or effectively  issue an order returning the child;
  • Is likely to take your child to a country whose laws will make it easy for the other parent to cut off contact between you and your child, restrict you from going to see your child, prohibit your child from leaving, or endanger your child’s physical or emotional health based on human rights violations committed there;
  • Is likely to take your child to a country that is considered a sponsor of terrorism, does not have an official United States diplomatic presence, or is involved in a war, including civil conflicts;
  • Is currently changing either his/her immigration or citizenship status that would hurt your ability to stay in the United States legally;
  • Has had an application for United States citizenship denied;
  • Has lied on documents, applications, or to United States officials in an attempt to get a passport, visa, or other government-issued identification cards;
  • Has used more than one name to try and mislead officials;
  • Has done anything else that the judge thinks is risky behavior.*
* K.S.A. § 38-13a07

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WomensLaw.org would like to thank Pamela Burrough Jacobs, Immigration Project Attorney at the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence for her help in compiling this section.

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