While no parent wants to imagine this happening, it is possible that an ex may kidnap and take your children away in the middle of a child custody battle. This is particularly true if your ex has a history of criminal offenses and isn’t afraid to break the law. It is a nightmare situation that can happen after a divorce or breakup, and is often done in an attempt to hurt the other parent. It is also often the parent who has a much lesser chance of getting child custody who commits the kidnapping.
Regardless of the details, the parent left to call the police is bound to experience unrelenting worry, terror, and fear that something bad may result. After contacting the local authorities, you may want to speak with a child custody attorney, like a child custody attorney in Tampa, FL, about what actions you can take to not only get your children back, but also prevent your ex from being able to harm your children ever again.
Call The Police Once You Notice Your Children Are Missing
Your children may have been taken directly from your home, or your ex may have told you the children would be at their place during visitation and when you went to pick them up, they weren’t there. Your ex may not be answering the phone when you try to figure out what’s going on. After so many attempts to contact the other parent, you may get a pit in your stomach and wonder whether you should call the police. You should call 911 the moment you notice that your children are missing.
Have Child Custody Documents Ready to Show As Proof
The court may have established a temporary child custody order during the divorce or separation until an official hearing is held. It is important to have these documents ready to show police so you can prove that your children are not where they are supposed to be and the other parent has wrongfully kept them away from you. With this paperwork, you can quickly show that the other parent has overstepped their boundaries as enforced by the court.
If the parenting arrangement doesn’t have clear wording or allows for a flexible schedule, then it may be harder to get law enforcement to take action. The police will need a defined legal outline so they can pursue the parent and locate your children. If you have a hunch that your ex may kidnap your children but hasn’t yet, you may want to consult with your attorney about how you can go about requesting that the court enacts more strict boundaries.
Once your children are back safe with you after the kidnapping, you will need to speak with an attorney immediately. You should ask about what your rights are and how you can show the court that your ex doesn’t deserve to continue having a relationship with your children. Based on the nature of the kidnapping, you may not have to do very much persuading in order for the family court judge to agree with you. The court may revoke your ex’s parental rights, along with approving a restraining order or other protective actions.
Thanks to The McKinney Law Group for their insight into what to do if your ex kidnaps your child during a custody battle.