boston(617) 795-3611
new bedford(508) 316-9720
hingham(781) 908-0551

Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act and Custody in Massachusetts


The federal Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA) was enacted in 1980 and was intended to solve the problem existing at the time that individual states would not enforce other state’s orders for child custody and visitation.  The PKPA ensures that states across the country uphold orders entered in other states for custody of children, so long as the issuing state had proper jurisdiction in the first place.

The PKPA applies when one parent removes a child from a state in violation of valid court orders for custody issued by a state.  The Commonwealth adopted its own parental kidnapping act, M.G.L.A. c. 265, § 26A.  The state law indicates that it is not a crime to remove a child from the Commonwealth for a prolonged period of time if there is no current custody order preventing such removal.

For more information about child custody orders and parental kidnapping issues as they relate to paternity, divorce, or separate support actions contact our experienced attorneys today.  We are happy to discuss your matter and options in a clear and straightforward manner.

Our firm serves Boston as well as all courts in Bristol County, including the New Bedford, Fall River and Taunton courthouses.  We also serve all courts in Plymouth County including the Family and Probate Courthouses in Plymouth and Brockton.

Client Review

"My experience with W&F has been very positive. David has proven himself to be a skilled negotiator & litigator."
Ryan G.