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This article provides an overview of the impact of state criminal parental kidnapping or custodial interference statutes on immigrant survivors of domestic violence who already have left or wish to leave their state with their children. Specifically, it discusses the jurisdictional laws that relate to interstate custody, criminal implications of intrastate versus interstate custodial interference, the varying applicability of custodial interference statutes for parents who do and do not have court-ordered custody of their children, statutory exceptions or defenses available to survivors of domestic violence facing prosecution on charges of criminal parental kidnapping, and immigration consequences related to a conviction under such statutes. The article also provides an overview of the implications of interstate parental relocation on civil family court custody determinations. It concludes with a discussion of ethical issues that may arise for lawyers representing survivors who flee from violence with their children.



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