What Is Parental Child Abduction and How to Prevent It
One of the most frightening thoughts to a parent is that their child is taken away from them. If you are going through an adversarial divorce that has the potential for abusive behavior, you may face a spouse that threatens to kidnap or take your child. If previous actions lead you to believe that these threats may be real, you should immediately visit with your divorce attorney regarding the possibility of obtaining a restraining order. However, in many cases, the abduction or kidnapping will never occur. In order to be safe, here are some facts regarding parental child abduction and the steps you can take to attempt to prevent this horrific act from occurring.
Parental Child Abduction Is Common
Unfortunately, the Department of Justice states that more 200,000 children are abducted by a family member each year. In some cases, the reason that parental child abduction is common is that the parent who abducts the child has a legal right to custody at the time the abduction begins. In these cases, the parent then moves the child over state lines or to another county, which constitutes legal kidnapping.
Prevention of Child Abduction
While you may not be able to control every action of your spouse, or soon to be ex-spouse, some precautions and proactive steps you can take to prevent the kidnapping include the following:
- Teach your child how to make phone calls with both cell phones and landlines. Explain to them so that they understand that if they are ever in danger, or feel that they are not being returned to you in a timely manner, that they should contact you with the number they have memorized, or the police.
- Consider hiring a private investigator to follow along when the other parent has legal custody. These private investigators will not be able to actually interfere with the time that your ex-spouse has with your child, however, they can alert both you and the police if the other parent takes a child across state lines against the law.
If you are faced with circumstances where your child is kidnapped by the other parent, make sure that you have already prepared by doing the following things:
- Have all contact information for all relatives, work, family and friends that your ex-spouse may be in contact with both in and outside the United States.
- Fingerprint your child at the local police department so this information can be disseminated quickly if necessary to law enforcement
- Keep a file with all information regarding your ex-spouse, including driver’s license number, photographs, passport information, social security information, car make and model, and license plate number.
- Keep a current photo of your child in case law enforcement needs it quickly.
What To Do If Your Child Was Abducted
Call law enforcement immediately and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678 if you believe your child was abducted or kidnapped by your former spouse. Additionally, contact the Office of Children’s Issues at 1-888-407-4747. Finally, contact an experienced family law attorney to help regarding your legal rights.
Let Us Help You Today
If you are in the process of a divorce or believe that your spouse may abduct your child, contact the experienced Las Vegas family attorneys at Ghandi Deeter Blackham Law Offices. Visit with one of our compassionate attorneys at 410-535-5500 today for your free consultation.