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Legal Information: Vermont

Vermont Parental Kidnapping

Laws current as of
December 12, 2023

This page includes information that is specific to this state. There is also a page with general parental kidnapping information 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.

I took my kids away from danger but I worry that I may be charged with custodial interference. What can I do?

First, you may want to contact a lawyer immediately who can advise you.  Go to our VT Finding a Lawyer page for legal referrals.

If you are charged with custodial interference, you may be able to defend yourself if you can prove that you took the child “in good faith” while trying to protect the child from real and imminent (immediate) physical danger.  Possible ways to prove that you acted in “good faith” could be:

  • showing proof that the child was facing immediate physical danger (and that you took your child away from the other parent to protect the child from it);
  • you filed a petition with the Vermont court to modify the custody order within 72 hours of taking the child and in the petition, you documented the danger to the child; and
  • you did not leave the state with the child.1

Proving this defense can be complicated - it is best to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.  Go to our VT Finding a Lawyer page for legal referrals.  If you are a victim of abuse, you can call the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women for information and advice at 800-903-0111 x 3 or 215-351-0010.  
1 VT ST 13 § 2451(c)