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International child custody dispute and abduction

When one parent in Texas has ties to another country and the parents get a divorce, there could be an international child custody dispute. In some cases, a parent may take the child out of the country without the other parent's permission. There are steps that parents who are concerned about an international abduction can take to prevent this as well as things they can do to deal with the situation if the abduction does occur.

First, parents may want to talk to an attorney to ensure that they understand their rights and options. Parents may also want to make sure they read and understand the Hague Convention, an agreement that can help resolve child custody and abduction cases for the countries that have signed onto it. It only applies to children who are 16 and under. Within the United States, parents can get help from the Uniform Child Abduction Prevention Act. A parent who files a petition using the UCAPA can have a judge limit whether the other parent can take the children out of the country.

Parents should try to keep in touch using letters and calls to maintain the bond with children who have been taken abroad. They should understand the cultural context that the court in the other country is working within and may need to relocate abroad until the case is resolved.

One of the things that can be done to protect children from an international abduction is not allowing the other parent to apply for a passport for the child without permission from both parents. If an abduction is underway, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, airlines and others may be able to assist in stopping it. If a parent believes the child is unsafe with the other parent and can produce evidence supporting it, the other parent may only be allowed supervised visitation. An attorney may help a concerned parent with any custody issues.

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