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Legal Information: Delaware

Delaware Parental Kidnapping

Laws current as of
April 5, 2019

This page includes information that is specific to this state, about parental kidnapping, also called custodial interference. There is also a general parental kidnapping page that you may find helpful. Custody and kidnapping are particularly complicated and it is important to try to find an experienced lawyer to help you with your case.

If the other parent takes the kids out of state without my permission, could that be considered kidnapping?

It depends.  If the other parent takes the children out of state or somewhere else in the state in violation of your rights to custody or visitation under a court order, you may be able to file a petition for contempt of court.  If the other parent purposefully attempts to deny you your custody or visitation rights under a court order, you may want to ask an attorney whether or not it may be considered parental kidnapping, known as interference with custody under Delaware criminal law.  To find a lawyer, go to our DE Finding a Lawyer page.  If you are currently involved in a divorce case with the child’s other parent, please see If I am getting divorced, can I take my kids out of the state?

Can I get temporary custody of my child as a part of an order of protection against the other parent?

Possibly, yes. The court may grant temporary custody of the children to the person who is asking the court for an order of protection. The parent that the order or protection is against may request visitation at any time during the proceeding. This visitation may be supervised by a third party.1

1 10 Del. C. § 1045