Parental kidnapping occurs if one parent takes the children without consent from the other parent. The risk of parental kidnapping is high for non-married parents or parents who are going through a divorce. Below are some of the precautions you can take to avoid parental kidnapping.
Get a Custody Order
The first thing is to get a custody order if you don't have one already. Without a custody order, the other parent might claim vacation or outings if you accuse them of parental kidnapping. A custody order lays the ground rules on what the law expects from each parent.
Consider an example where you have a custody order that gives you the children for the weekend. The other parent may find it harder to leave with the kids than they would be without an existing custody order.
Respect the Custody or Visitation Arrangement
Parental kidnapping is inexcusable, but that doesn't mean you should go out of your way to incite the other parent. Some people act irrationally when stressed or angry. For example, the other parent might feel pushed to the wall if you keep disrespecting the custody order or visitation rules. They might feel that they have no option but to take the kids away. Thus, if the custody order requires the other parent to have the kids over the weekends, ensure that is the case.
Don't Take Threats Lightly
Some incidents of parental kidnapping occur without warning. Other times, however, an incident occurs after you have ignored several warnings. Therefore, watch out for telltale signs of a possible kidnapping. Don't assume the other parent is joking if they threaten to take the kids away. Record such warnings and report them to the authorities. In some cases, a talk or warning from the police might discourage your partner from kidnapping the kids.
Notify All Relevant Parties
Once you have the custody order, notify all the parties who have regular contact with the kids. Teachers, dentists, pediatricians, and babysitters should all know about the custody arrangement. That way, these parties can inform you is something is amiss. Distributing the information will also reduce the number of people willing to help your partner with their criminal intentions.
If you are the one contemplating parental kidnapping, note that it can attract both criminal and civil penalties. Instead of running away with the kids, you can use family laws to settle any dispute you might have with the other parent. Consult a family law firm like Scott & Scott, PC for more information.