How to Prevent
Preventing Parental Abduction/Kidnapping
The best way to deal with child-snatching is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Many abductions occur right before or right after a custody decision.
Being prepared is your best defense.
Your first line of defense is to have the following restrictions placed in your Court Order. You can request that the order include provision or stipulations that the other parent cannot take the children out of the state, or Country, or if you can demonstrate that the other parent is not trustworthy and a flight risk you may request that they only be allowed supervised visitation.
If you are the custodial parent, make sure that school authorities, daycare personnel or anyone else that is charge of care or control of your child, has a copy of the custody orders. They can be given explicit instructions not to release the child or any records of the child to the non-custodial parent.
Let it be known that any friend or relative who supports or helps a parent in hiding a child should be made aware that their actions can be seen as criminal liability if they aid in the abduction of a child.
What to Watch Out For
Although there are no foolproof warning signs or psychological profiles for abduction risk, there are some indicators that should never be ignored:
- Parent has threatened to abduct the child on previous occasion
- Parent has no strong ties to the child’s home state
- Citizenship in another country and family ties to their country or origin
- Friends and family living out of state or abroad
- No financial reason to stay in current area; e.g. unemployed, able to take a job anywhere, or financially independent
- Recently sold a home, quit a job, closed bank accounts or liquidated assets
- History of mental instability, domestic violence or child abuse
- Prior criminal record
When factors are present which may indicate a heightened risk of kidnapping, you should contact your attorney to file any petitions with the Juvenile Courts they deem appropriate and consider Contact US to physically monitor the potential abductors behavior.
Morse Investigation Services had a case just like this a few years ago, where the Father was a French National and had Dual Citizenship. The Mother had piked up on signs that made her uncomfortable and we devised a course of action to monitor the Father. With the aid of Dulles International Airport Authorities we were able to stop the Father from boarding a plane with his children destined for France.