Preventing International Child Abduction – The topic of child abduction sounds awfully over the top in terms of the court looking out for a child’s best interest. We’ve discussed in previous blogs factors the court must investigate, including who can properly care for a child, parental fitness and paying close attention to existing family relationships.
The risk of international child abduction seems straight out of a Lifetime Family Network movie. But it’s worth discussing for the simple fact that child abduction does happen and it can be perpetrated by parents who feel as though they should have equal possession and access rights.
The court must account for this possibility, especially if there is a reasonable expectation it could happen.
So what happens in this instance? The first step is that the court must receive a motion from one party to look into the concern and make a reasonable determination.
To make this determination, the court must consider:
- The risk of international abduction.
- Texas public policy.
- The child’s best interest.
- Any obstacles to locating, recovering, and returning the child.
- The possibility of physical or psychological harm to the child.
Preventing International Child Abduction
The court must have credible evidence of the aforementioned risks. This includes information on if the parent previously violated possession and access to the child by taking, enticing away, keeping, withholding, or concealing a child. They also must consider if the parent lacks a financial reason to stay in the United States, such as a job, or if a parent has a history of domestic violence.
There are a litany of other risk factors – mandatory in nature and also discretionary – that must be addressed by the court. But if there is a credible risk, the court can modify the final order for conservatorship, possession, and access. Below are a few ways the court can modify such orders:
- Appointing a person other than the parent presenting the risk of abduction as the child’s conservator.
- Limit the parent presenting the risk of abduction to supervised visitation at a visitation center.
- Order passport and travel controls.
- Authorize law enforcement to take measures to prevent abduction of the child.
There is a lot more that goes into rights of possession and access. Give our knowledgeable staff here at Nelson Law Group, PC a call if you have any further questions regarding this – or any other – issue. Our staff is always available. Give us a call today.