If I think that the other parent may abduct my child, is there anything I can do?
You may want to immediately contact a lawyer who can help you figure out what you can do to try to prevent abduction.
You can convince a judge that your concerns are “reasonable” based on the facts, a court may take steps to prevent the other parent from abducting your child. If you think that the other parent may flee the state with the purpose of kidnapping your child, then there are a couple of possible options that might work:
- File a criminal complaint against the other parent (but this may only work if the other parent is in the process of fleeing the jurisdiction in violation of a court order or with the purpose of kidnapping your child)
- Attempt to get an emergency temporary restraining order from family court.
If you think that the other parent may try to take your child out of the country, you could ask the court to seize your child’s passport so s/he cannot leave the country. This is important due to the fact that there is no way to track the use of a passport once it has been issued, since there are no exit controls for people leaving the U.S.*
Also, if you are seeking custody of your children, you can ask the judge to include a provision that the non-custodial parent is not allowed to travel with your child out of the state or the country. If you already have a custody order, you can ask the judge to add this requirement to it. However, even if the judge does not agree to order that the child cannot be removed from the county, there is still something you can do. The State Department provides the following service:
“You can ask that your child’s name be entered into the State Department’s Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program by contacting the Office of Children’s Issues’ Prevention Unit at 202-736-9156 or faxing a request to 202-736-9133. This will enable the Department to notify you or your attorney if an application for a U.S. passport for the child is received anywhere in the United States or at any U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. If you have a court order that either grants you sole custody, joint legal custody, or prohibits your child from traveling without your permission or the permission of the court, the Department may refuse to issue a new or renewal U.S. passport for your child. The Department may not, however, revoke a passport that has already been issued to the child.” http://travel.state.gov/family/abduction/prevention/prevention_560.html
For emergency assistance contact:
The goal of ABP World Group Ltd. is to locate, negotiate and recover your missing child.
We can dispatch personnel to most locations in the world; we specialize in locating missing children up to ages 18.