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Parental Child Abduction
By far the most common kind of child abduction is parental child abduction and often occurs when the parents separate or begin divorce proceedings. A parent may remove or retain the child from the other seeking to gain an advantage in expected or pending child-custody proceedings or because that parent fears losing the child in those expected or pending child-custody proceedings; a parent may refuse to return a child at the end of an access visit or may flee with the child to prevent an access visit or fear of domestic violence and abuse. Parental child abductions may be within the same city, within the state/ region or within the same country, or may be international.
Depending on the laws of the state and country in which the parental abduction occurs, this may or may not constitute a criminal offence. For example, removal of a child from the UK for a period of 28 days or more without the permission of the other parent (or person with parental responsibility), is a criminal offence. 500 children a year abducted from UK New data reveals a stark rise in child kidnapping by estranged parents. Almost 500 children were abducted from the UK and taken abroad illegally last year, according to figures released under the Freedom of Information Act. (Source The Guardian Newspaper).
Abductions usually occur when marriages break down between couples of different nationalities, and the parent who is not awarded custody kidnaps their children. Now is peak abduction season, as children are taken abroad during the school summer holidays and not returned. The government has little power to intervene in around 40% of all abduction cases, as they involve children being taken to countries not signed up to the Hague convention, an international treaty which obliges nations to promptly return children wrongfully retained in their jurisdiction. Experts say it is often almost impossible for mothers to get back children taken by their fathers to Islamic countries with sharia law, such as Saudi Arabia, which prioritise male parental rights
What Parents need to do in advance if they fear that their Ex partner may try to take the child: • Obtain a Court Order preventing removal from the Country
• Notify the passport agency not to issue a passport to the child
• Seek an order the other parent to lodge a bond of money with the court which will be forfeited if the child is not returned
• Have a pack ready to give to the police as soon as the threat of abduction is real and imminent which should include photographs of the child and other parent and copies of birth and marriage certificates, translated if necessary and a copy of the child’s passport.
ABOVE ALL CALL ITF DETECTIVES AS SOON AS YOU THINK YOUR CHILD MAY NOT BE SAFE AS PREVENTION IS THE KEY, SO OFTEN AFTER THE EVENT IS TOO LATE. IN 40% OF CASES THE GOVERNMENT OR POLICE CAN NOT HELP YOU. ITF DETECTIVES WILL.
ITF Will assist with planning and training in the prevention of Child Abduction, it is imperative that your child remains safe and in your custody as you might not get a second chance.