July 7 , 2013
Parental kidnapping, while not something most parents will need to worry about after a Pasadena divorce, is still a risk all custodial parents must be aware of.
The term parental kidnapping is used to mean that a parent who does not have legal custody has taken the child without the permission of the custodial parent. The parent taking the child may leave the state or even the country in order to avoid having the custodial parent make contact.
If your ex threatens to leave with your child, there are several preventative measures you can take. If you are separated, but not yet divorced, a judge can provide you with a temporary order of custody. Without a temporary order of custody, you both have equal rights to the child. Your lawyer can also help you implement protections in your custody order, such as having precise pickup times and requiring regular phone contact during visits.
Keep current photos of your child and your ex on hand to provide to police if needed. It is also a good idea to keep info such as your ex’s Social Security number, driver’s license number, and the make and model of his or her car on hand to provide law enforcement in the event of an abduction.
Talk to your child’s daycare provider and/or teacher to make sure they know that your ex is not allowed to pick up your child. Schools and child care facilities assume both parents have equal custody rights unless they are told otherwise.
If your child has a passport, place it in a safe deposit box that your ex can not access. If your child does not have a passport, you should have his or her name added to the Children’s Passport Issuance Alert System. This ensures that you will be contacted if someone tries to apply for a passport in your child’s name.
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