Parental kidnapping isn’t a concern for all divorced parents, but if you are worried that your child may be taken out of the state or abroad without permission because the other parent is angry about custody or other issues, then you do need to watch out for the signs that they’re planning to run away and kidnap your child.
There are a few red flags to watch out for if you think that parental kidnapping is a risk. These include:
- Finding out about a trip that hasn’t been discussed with you
- Learning that your child has a new passport that you didn’t know about
- Repeated discussions about how the other parent wants more custody time or jokes about not bringing your child home
- Sudden job loss or transfers without notifying the other parent
It’s important for you to keep your eyes and ears open to watch out for red flags like these. If any come up, then it’s smart to reach out to your attorney to discuss your concerns. It’s often easier to put protections in place than it is to stop an abduction once it is in motion, so that’s something you can work on.
How can you prevent a parental kidnapping?
It can be hard to predict other people, but having a strong custody plan is a step in the right direction. Having strict times when your child has to come home or be picked up may be helpful, as can asking for monitored visitation if you think parental kidnapping is a risk.
If you start to see red flags, then talk to your attorney about what you’re worried about. They may be able to help you get a modification of your custody schedule to put your child in your care or to make sure they are monitored while with the other parent.
Preventative steps may help reduce the likelihood of an abduction and parental kidnapping, but if you think the other parent has fled with your child it’s time to call the police and your attorney. Once an abduction occurs, you need to act quickly to stop them before leaving the state or country.