Title 18, Section 1204 of the United States Code makes it a federal crime to remove a child from the United States or retain a child outside the United States with the intent to obstruct a parent’s custodial rights, or to attempt to do so. See 18 U.S.C. § 1204. This crime is punishable by up to three years in prison. The law provides a defense where the taking parent acted pursuant to a valid court order obtained under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act, or where the taking parent was fleeing domestic violence, or where the failure to return the child resulted from circumstances beyond the taking parent’s control and the taking parent made reasonable efforts to notify the left behind parent within 24 hours and returned the child as soon as possible.