- A detailed custody order and good legal advice can go a long way in protecting your parental rights.
- Detailed custody orders include special provisions on the custody decree such as specifying the beginning and end dates of visits; relocation restrictions; supervised visitation for the potential taking parent; requiring the court’s approval to take the child out of the state or country; and asking for the court or a neutral third party to hold passports.
- Consult your attorney about the drawbacks to joint-custody orders in parental abduction cases, if ordered. Ensure that you clearly specify the child’s residential arrangements at all times.
- Do not ignore any abduction threat. Notify police and give them copies of any restraining order on your ex-spouse. You may also request restricted locations for visitation rights if you can prove potential harm to your child.
- Be on the alert for sudden changes in the other parent’s life. Changes, such as quitting a job, selling a home, or closing a bank account, may be signs that the parent may be planning to leave the country.
- Don’t delay action if you think your child has been taken by the other parent. Make sure that if your child is abducted, the police take a detailed report and that your child is entered into the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system right away (a warrant is not required).
- Be aware that if one parent is a citizen of another country, your child may have dual nationality. Contact the embassy of that country and inquire about their passport requirements for minors.