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Preventing Family Abduction During the Holidays

International Custody Safety

It’s no secret that sharing custody of your children with an ex-spouse during the holiday season is a complicated situation. It can be emotionally taxing, especially when there are disagreements about timesharing schedules and other divorce-related matters.

When it comes to international custody and timesharing, it’s natural for a parent to be concerned about their child’s safety when visiting the other parent who lives in a different country. If you are worried about parental child abduction over the holiday season, here are some tips that can help your child stay safe.

Know the Warning Signs

Knowing the warning signs can help you remain proactive in keeping your child safe from parental abduction. The following red flags could indicate that the child’s parent may have the intention to relocate:

  • Quitting their job
  • Selling their home
  • Making statements in anger such as, “I’ll never let you see your child again.”
  • Neglectful or abusive behaviors towards the child

Obtain a Court Order

It’s important to understand that the U.S. does not have authority when it comes to exiting the country, nor does the U.S. require both parents to consent to a minor traveling internationally. Without a valid court order that states the child is prohibited from traveling outside of the United States, it may be difficult for law enforcement to take action against parental abduction. If you do not have a court order, an international family lawyer will be able to assist you. A court order should include the following:

  • Provisions for passports
  • Travel restrictions
  • Custody and access details

Get Law Enforcement Involved

If you think your ex-spouse has abducted your child, it’s imperative to contact law enforcement immediately. Provide them with copies of court orders regarding custody and any restraining and protective orders. You can also provide authorities with the following information to help identify and locate your child:

  • A current picture of your child
  • Details of your child’s height, hair color, and eye color
  • What your child was wearing when you saw last saw them

Contact an International Family Lawyer for Help

Divorce matters during the holiday season are not easy. When it comes to custody, timesharing, and abduction matters, it can be altogether overwhelming. If you are concerned about your child’s safety and their risk of abduction, it’s imperative to contact an international family lawyer as soon as possible to address your concerns and devise a plan to keep them safe.

For more information about international family law and your parental rights when it comes to international custody and timesharing, contact Ilvento Law, P.A. at (407) 915-3438. With over 24 years of experience, we’ll help you get through the toughest divorce and child custody challenges.

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