Parental kidnapping: Here's what you can do to prevent kidnapping

When a legal issue arises in your family, the best way you can protect yourself and the ones you love is by consulting a family law attorney who understands how to help you.

There are some cases of parents who go against every parenting plan and custody order they're given, choosing instead to take their children and flee. They hide where they're going, and sometimes leave the country.

The parent who is left behind has no choice but to seek help for a parental kidnapping. Parental kidnapping occurs when a parent violates a custody order and holds the children "hostage." The other parent usually has no idea where the children have gone or where the parent is.

International parental kidnapping and your children

Among the worst situations is when a parent kidnaps children overseas or out of the country. It's difficult to bring the children home if their location is not known or if the country is not part of the Hague Convention. Federal law does allow the prosecutors to investigate and prosecute parents who kidnap their children. However, they likely will have no ability to control whether the foreign authorities will bring the child back to the USA. Typically, there have to be a series of negotiations that take place before the child, or children, will be returned to the United States.

How can you prevent a parental kidnapping?

Parental kidnappings sometimes happen unexpectedly, but in many cases, there are signs that they could occur. For instance, your child might mention that their mom or dad just got them a passport when you know that there are custodial restrictions in place to keep them in the country. You might notice that the other parent's behaviors have suddenly changed, being extremely accommodating so that you'll allow them to take your children on a vacation that wouldn't normally be something you would agree to.

Overall, you need to pay attention to the signs. If your children mention a trip or vacation that has not been discussed with you, it's worth talking to your Fort Collins attorney right away while you still have custody of your children. Your attorney can help you turn to the court for help.

If you know that your ex-spouse or ex-partner has already fled with your children, call your attorney and the authorities immediately. If they are trying to leave the country, there are sometimes ways to stop them at the border and to place a border alert on your children's passports. Alerting the authorities as quickly as possible gives you the best chance of being able to prevent your children from leaving the country with their other parent.

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