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Ways to prevent a potential international abduction

When Texas parents are in the middle of a custody dispute, a parent may potentially fear that the other parent could abduct the child, especially if the dispute is not going the way that they want it. The court can potentially get involved and the custodial parent can work with the U.S. State Department to prevent a potential international child abduction case.

One way to protect a child against abduction is to ask the court to include a provision in the child custody order that prevents a non-custodial parent from taking the child out of the state or country. Another option is for the judge to order the noncustodial parent to pay a bond that would cover the cost of locating the child should the parent take the child out of the country.

If a parent has custody of the child but still believes that the other parent may attempt to flee the country with them, they could ask the court to obtain possession of the child's passport. Without a passport, it will be much more difficult for the child to leave the country. If the child does not have a passport yet, the parent may be able to register the child in the Children's Passport Issuance Alert Program. If the other parent submits a passport application for the child who is registered with the program, the parent will be notified.

International abduction cases can be difficult to resolve, especially if the child has a dual passport or if the noncustodial parent is a citizen of another country. A family law attorney may provide a custodial parent with different options available depending where the child and the noncustodial parent may be located. The attorney may work with the state and attorneys in the other country in order to provide resources and guidance.

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