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What steps can you take to prevent international child abduction?

Having a child with someone who hails from another country can sometimes present unanticipated challenges. If, for example, the relationship between you and your one-time partner takes a turn for the worse, you may have reason to worry about your ex potentially trying to take your child out of the country without your permission.

If you do, in fact, have valid concerns about international child abduction, there are some efforts you can take to help protect your child and keep him or her on U.S. soil. If your child’s other parent does successfully take your child out of the United States and back to his or her home country, it can sometimes, depending on the nation involved, prove difficult to get him or her back. Therefore, taking preventative measures to stop international child abduction may be your best line of defense against it. So, what should you consider doing if you believe your ex might attempt to take your son or daughter back to his or her home nation?

Obtain a court order

You may find that your best option at preventing international child abduction lies in securing a court order prohibiting travel. You may be able to, for example, get a court order that limits your child’s ability to travel outside of a certain area. You may also be able to get a court order that prevents anyone from trying to obtain a U.S. passport on your son or daughter’s behalf.

Be on alert for warning signs

It may, too, serve you well to be on the lookout for certain signs that might indicate that your ex has plans for an international relocation. If your ex, say, suddenly leaves a longtime job or decides to sell his or her home, know that these could potentially be signs of a plan to move overseas.

When you have concerns about your ex trying to take your child to another country, it is important that you alert the proper authorities and contacts. In addition to notifying your local authorities about your concerns, you should also make sure your child’s teachers, coaches and babysitters are aware of your fears.