One of the last things you ever want to see happen is for your child to go missing. It's possible, especially if you and your ex-spouse have arguments over visitation and custody. While many people argue without ever having any real, life-altering issues affect their cases, some end up with situations where one parent takes the law into his or her own hands. In those cases, children can and do go missing with that parent.
Parental kidnapping is against the law, and it's enough of a problem that the Hague Convention helps bring children home from participating countries after they've been taken away by their parents. For situations where the child is in the country, it's an easier task to find and bring him or her home, although it can still be hard to track the parent who has fled.
What can you do to prevent parental kidnapping? There are a number of methods, but here are a few things you can do to help stop this situation from occurring.
1. Make your concerns known
The first thing you should do is make your concerns known to your attorney. Why do you feel your child is at risk? Has the other parent fled in the past, or does he or she have the money and connections to take away your child? It's smart to let someone know you have this concern, so the court can address it. The court could, for instance, place a limit on how far your child can travel out of the state or require both parents to give permission if a child is going out of the country.
2. Look for signs
Signs of a potential kidnapping might start small, like noticing that the other parent isn't returning some of your child's items. You might drop your child off and notice that there are suitcases or a trailer on the parent's vehicle, but you weren't informed about any trips coming up. If your child starts talking about places your ex-spouse is talking about taking him or her, that could be another sign, especially if he or she says you aren't supposed to know.
3. You're threatened
If the other parent threatens to take your child away or to prevent you from seeing him or her, that's a cause for concern. You can let your attorney know right away, so he or she can take steps to prevent that from happening.
You don't have to live in fear of your child being taken away. With the right steps taken now, a parental kidnapping can be prevented.
Source: Nov. 30, -0001