Parenting orders are supposed to outline what a parent can and can’t do with his child following a divorce. If amicable, these orders are generally obeyed by both sides in order to prevent family discourse. However, if a parent feels as though the order is biased or limits his interaction with his child too much, he may take drastic steps to violate it. One such step may even include forcefully removing the child from the other parent by way of an abduction.
Recognising a Potential Parental Abduction
A parental abduction occurs when one parent refuses to adhere to the rules of the parenting order and essentially kidnaps his own child, preventing the other parent from seeing and interacting with her in accordance with the order. There are two types of abduction scenarios: Out-of-State and Out-of-Country. If a parent refuses to return a child but remains within the state, it isn’t considered an abduction, but rather just a parenting order violation.
If you or a loved one believes that your ex is planning to take your child out of the state or country, you may be able to stop him by pursuing an injunction. However, in order to secure an injunction, you need to have specific proof such as the following.
- Purchasing of one-way tickets. The other parent has purchased one-way tickets for himself and your child to travel to another state.
- Secretive holiday plans. The other parent has told you that he and your child are planning on going on a holiday but refuses to give you the details of how long they’ll be gone, where they are going, travel arrangements, or accommodations.
- Suspicious long-term planning. The other parent is selling possessions such as his house or car or putting belongings into storage as if he is planning on a long-term absence without notifying you as of why.
- Researching out-of-state jobs or connections. The other parent has been fortifying out-of-state connections (family and friends) or has inquired about out-of-state jobs.
- Keeping secrets with your child. The other parent has told your child not to tell you about their holiday plans, or other things he has told her, such as not seeing her friends for a while, or making sure to pack sentimental belongings.
- All of the above actions apply here as well.
- Secretively planning an overseas holiday. The other parent has made arrangements to take the child overseas and has not informed you of their plans.
- Securing of passports. The other parent has taken your child to get a passport without discussing the matter with you.
- Travelling to a country that prohibits abduction jurisdiction. The other parent plans on travelling to a country that is not a member of the Hague Convention on the Abduction of Children. As such, once there the Australian government will not have jurisdiction to retrieve your child. Some of these countries include The Bahamas, Honduras, Thailand, Fiji, Zimbabwe, and a host of others.
If you have suspicions that your ex is planning to abduct your child, or violate his parenting order in any way, contact us directly to set up a one-on-one conversation to talk about your options. It is your fundamental right to protect your children, even if that means protecting them against their other parent.