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What steps can you take to prevent international child abduction?

Anyone who has ever gone through a Texas divorce can likely attest that the process can prove long, tedious and complicated, and in situations where the married parties are from two different nations, the separation can prove even more convoluted. You may, for example, have to navigate complex child custody matters, and depending on the relationship between you and your ex, you may, too, have concerns about your former partner abducting your child and taking him or her overseas.

Per the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, arguably one of the most important things to do if you have fears about international child abduction is to take action right away. Do not hesitate in doing so, and one of the first things you may want to consider doing is securing a court order that restricts your child from traveling, obtaining a U.S. passport or what have you.

If, however, your child has dual citizenship in the United States and the country you fear your ex will try to take him or her, you may want to consider taking an extra precaution by calling the consulate or embassy in that nation to alert them of your child’s restrictions. Otherwise, your ex could potentially try to get your child a passport from his or her home country.

Once you have a court order prohibiting your ex from traveling internationally with your child, make sure to provide your local law enforcement agency with a copy of it. You should also make sure others who provide care for your child, be them daycare providers, teachers, babysitters or what have you, know about your concerns.

This information is meant for educational purposes and is not a replacement for legal advice.

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