If you live in Texas and share a child with someone who comes from another country, and the two of you have a particularly difficult relationship, you may have valid concerns about international child abduction. At the Law Offices of Keith E. Holloway, we are highly familiar with the steps you can take as a parent to reduce the chances of your ex attempting to kidnap your child and leave the country. We have helped many clients facing such situations work to protect themselves or regain physical custody over their children.
According to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, one of the most important steps you can take if you suspect your child’s other parent may try and abduct him or her is to take out a court order or enact a custody decree. Court orders can cover any number of areas, but you may want to attempt to secure one that prohibits your child from leaving the country, obtaining a passport and so on.
Typically, children do not need consent from both parents in order to travel internationally, meaning authorities typically have little recourse if your ex attempts to travel internationally with your child and you do not have a court order prohibiting it. Therefore, a court order may be the most important step you can take to prevent your child from traveling internationally.
If you do obtain a court order, make sure law enforcement officials have a copy of it. It is also critical that you notify appropriate contacts at your child’s school or daycare if the other parent is legally barred from picking up or visiting with your child. Finally, if you begin to see signs that make you suspicious your ex may be readying to leave the country, trust your instincts and act promptly. If your child’s other parent sells his or her home or quits his or her job, these actions may indicate plans for an impending international move. More about child custody issues is available on our web page.