No Parent wants to see their child abducted and many do not want to believe that their spouse could be capable of taking their child. Fortunately, experts suggest that there are signs a parent can watch for that may indicate a child abduction may be imminent.
Common sign prior to abduction can include:
- One parent has a controlling personality and dismisses the other parent’s preferences for the child.
- Family and friends of the potential abductor form a supporting network.
- There have been previous threats or attempts to take the child without permission or consent.
- There is a history of failure to form financial or emotional ties.
- There have been suspicious actions, like liquidation of assets, borrowing money, filing for copies of birth certificates or moving possessions.
- You suspect or have evidence that the other parent has abused or neglected your child.
- If one parent has cultural beliefs in favor one sex in childrearing.
- If one or both parents has a past negative experience or several with the court system.
- One or both parents has a noticeable lack of knowledge about the legal system.
- A history or signs of mental illness leading to paranoid delusions or sociopathic behavior.
- Write anti-abduction language into your divorce judgment or custody order.
- Require a bond be posted against the abduction or unauthorized taking of your child.
- Require written permission to take your child out of state or country.
- Once the appropriate custody orders are in place, schools, day cares, babysitters, relatives and others who may pick up or see your child should be given copies of the order. Detailed and firm instructions should be given to these individuals on how to follow the court order.
- Do not get your child a passport unless it is absolutely necessary. Both parents must sign the application. The State Department also has a program to warn parents if the other parent applies for a child’s passport. When the parent tries to obtain a passport, there is a 30 day period for the other parent to object. Contact the State Department for additional tips and suggestions about passports.
- If your child already has a passport, do everything you can to convince the court to order its surrender. Be aware that a serious risk of abduction will usually have to be proven to get this order.
- Attempt to get notification from airlines if a ticket is purchased for your child. Some airlines will require a court order for this notification. With this notification you may be able to get the court to issue a restraining order against allowing the child to use the ticket.
- If a parent who is not a citizen takes your child to a non-Convention country, you may be able to request that they be prevented from returning to the U.S. until your child is returned to you.
- There are several organizations that can also assist in preventing abduction by counseling the other parent about the consequences of abduction. In some cases this is enough to prevent an abduction.
Any and all advice contained herein is intended only to assist parents and families prevent abduction of children. For more tips and advice, contact your local law enforcement or FBI office.
About The National Academy for Child Abduction Prevention Associates, LLC:
Founded in 2013 by Roy M. Doppelt, Esq., the National Academy for Child Abduction and Prevention Associates, LLC is an Academy of family law attorneys advocating prevention of child abduction through public education and professional collaboration. We believe that educating the public about kidnapping and its prevention is a paramount duty of attorneys who represent family law clients.