WHAT DO I DO IF I FEAR THE OTHER PARENT MAY KIDNAP MY CHILD?
Sharing custody with a child’s is always difficult, but for some parents, it feels downright dangerous, because they fear that their former spouse may kidnap the child. If you feel this way, you are not alone — thousands of parents live with this fear every day. Although most parents who fear parental kidnapping never see that come to fruition, it is always wise to take precautions just in case. The more prepared you are for this possibility, the more you do to prevent it or respond quickly if the child’s other parent ever does resort to kidnapping.
Make sure that you keep up-to-date information on both your child and the child’s other parent. For the child, this means taking a full-face picture of him or her every six months, and maintaining records with a detailed description. Include the child’s height, weight, hair color, eye color, fingerprints and any other aspect of the child that may help the public or law enforcement identify them. This could mean a birthmark or a scar, or noting if the child is handicapped in some visible way. It is also wise to have your child memorize your phone number and practice calling you from different phones, so that they know how reach if something out of the ordinary occurs.
You should also keep up-to-date records on the child’s other parent. Gather contact information for not only the parent, but also the parent’s friends and relatives, especially if the other parent has relationships outside of the country. You should also keep records with an up-to-date description of the parent and collect pictures of him or her regularly (social media can be particularly useful for this). In addition to these, be sure to collect as many pieces of official documentation as you can — driver’s license number, passport number, Social Security number, license plate number and even bank accounts if you can get them.
If you fear that your child’s parent may kidnap him or her, do not hesitate to contact an experienced attorney. You may have more legal options than you realize to take control of a volatile situation. With proper legal guidance from experienced legal counsel, you can protect your child and protect your own rights.
Source: The Law Offices of Dorie A Rogers APC, “Child Custody,” accessed April 19, 2017