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Legal Information: Nevada

Nevada Parental Kidnapping

Laws current as of
March 26, 2018

This page includes information that is specific to this state about parental kidnapping, also called custodial interference. There is also a page for general 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.

If I think that the other parent may kidnap my child, is there anything I can do?

During any custody case, either before or after the entry of a final order of custody, if the judge believes that the child has been, or is likely to be, taken or removed from Nevada (or hidden within Nevada), the judge can order that the parent produce the child in court.  At that point, the judge can put certain requirements into place to help ensure that the custody order will be followed by the parents.*

If the other parent is holding the child in violation of a custody order, you can apply for a warrant from the court to take physical custody of your child if you think s/he is likely to suffer serious physical harm or be removed from the state by the other parent.  If a judge grants the warrant and sees no other alternative, s/he may authorize the police to enter the private property of your child's other parent and take physical custody of your child by force.**

If you think that the other parent may try to take your child out of the country, you could ask the court to seize your child's passport so s/he cannot leave the country.  Also, if you are seeking custody of your child, you can ask the judge to order that the non-custodial parent is not allowed to travel with your child out of the state or the country.  If you already have a custody order, you can ask the judge to add this requirement to it. 

If the other parent lives in, is a citizen of, has a passport from, or frequently travels to a foreign country or became a citizen of the United States after marrying you, and the judge believes there is a serious risk that s/he will try to leave the country with your child, the judge can order him/her to post a bond (money) with the court.  The judge will set the amount for the bond, which should not be more than what it will cost to locate your child and return him/her to the U.S. if taken to a foreign country.***

For more information on keeping the other parent from taking your child out of the country, see How can I keep the other parent from taking my children out of the country?

As with all custody issues, we recommend that you talk to a lawyer about this.  To find a lawyer or legal aid program in your area, please visit the NV Finding a Lawyer page.

* N.R.S. AB 263, § 12(1)
** N.R.S. § 125A.525
*** N.R.S. AB 263, § 10(8)(b),(10)

If the other parent takes my child out of state without my permission, can s/he be charged with kidnapping?

This may likely depend on the specific facts of your situation. For specific advice, please talk to a lawyer who specializes in custody  before leaving the state if at all possible.  Go to our NV Finding a Lawyer page for legal referrals.  In general, a parent may be able to leave the state of Nevada for brief periods of time with the child if it doesn't interfere with the other parent's time with the child, violate any specific terms of the order, or violate Nevada's custodial interference law.  However, if a parent is planning on relocating out of state, there are specific steps that have to be followed first.  For more information, go to If there is a custody order in place, can I relocate?