Every parent’s nightmare is to have their children kidnapped. Although parents should be working together to ensure their child is safe and well-protected, after a divorce or separation, this is not always the case. Almost three-quarters of child abductions are at the hands of family members or acquaintances. If your child is abducted by the other parent and taken to a foreign country, it can be difficult or even impossible to force the parent to return the child. Protecting your child from the other parent’s abduction plan begins with recognizing some of the common red flags.
One of the first red flags to consider is whether the other parent has ever tried to commit this kind of crime in the past. Even if it is not with a child you share together, if the other parent has kidnapped or secreted another child, it indicates a clear willingness to commit this type of horrible act. Even if the other parent has tried to explain away their actions by saying it was “a big misunderstanding,” make sure you think carefully about the situation and consider whether the other parent was simply trying to cover up his or her ill-intentions.
Another red flag is mental instability. This is absolutely not to say that every parent with a mental health issue intends to kidnap children. Sadly, there are some individuals whose untreated mental health conditions can lead them to act rashly or erratically, and sometimes that will include kidnapping a child and moving to another country.
Third, consider where the other parent has the most ties. If he or she is a citizen of another country and has financial and family ties there, it is more likely that the parent may abduct the child and return to that country. Already having that established support system in place would make it easier for the parent to take the child there and not return. This is an especially important red flag if you observe the other parent refusing to take any steps to put down roots somewhere close to where the child lives now.
Consider whether the other parent seems to be engaging in activities indicative of moving. For example, has he or she quit a job, sold a car, or put his or her house on the market? These indications that a parent is cutting ties with the current community where he or she resides could indicate that he or she does not intend to remain in the community for very much longer.
A history of refusing to cooperate or family violence could also be indicative of a possibility the other parent would be willing to take the child and move to another country. Refusal to cooperate and domestic violence often comes down to the person’s desire and need to control everyone around them. Kidnapping a child and moving them to a foreign country is one of the most ultimate types of control an abuser can obtain. If you and your children are victims of domestic violence from the other parent, make sure you have strict provisions in your parenting plan about when the other parent can and cannot see the child. Provide the order to child care providers and school, making it more difficult for the abuser to kidnap the child directly from a school or daycare.
We have extensive experience with all aspects of family law. Call us today at (320) 299-4249 to talk about your case and your family.