If you have ever gone through a divorce, you probably know that it is rarely an easy process, but the transition into life on your own may prove far more difficult if you and your spouse were in an international relationship. International family law matters are difficult for many reasons, and this is due at least in part to the fact that there are often questions about what governing body has jurisdiction over such matters.
Depending on the specifics of your relationship and situation, you may have concerns about your partner taking your child to another country where you may not have the same legal recourse you might here in the United States. You may find it wise to take steps to prevent the abduction in the first place rather than figure out what to do after it occurs. Therefore, to reduce the chance that your child will be a victim of international child abduction, consider taking the following steps.
Secure your child’s passport
Without a valid passport in his or her possession, there is only so far your child can actually go. You may find that you need to take things a step further, however, even after you have your child’s passport in your possession. Some foreign consulates may renew your child’s passport, and they may do so without first seeking your permission.
If your soon-to-be ex-spouse is planning an international child abduction, he or she may already have airline tickets for doing so. You may be able to contact airlines to find out whether a ticket already exists for your child, or you may be able to request that an airline refuse to allow your child to board to further complicate abduction efforts.
Alert your child’s contacts and track whereabouts
If you fear that an international child abduction may be imminent, you may find it prudent to contact your child’s teachers, school administrators, daycare providers, sports coaches and so on. That way, they can keep an eye out for any suspicious circumstances and alert you if there are any attempts to remove your child from his or her day-to-day activities.
International child abduction is complicated, but by taking these actions, you may be able to help prevent it from the outset.