When the Other Parent has Taken Your Child
If your ex, who might be a parent or a non-parent to your child, does not obey the parenting or custody agreement, there are a few things that you can do to get your child back. If you have a court order granting your child custody, you should know that the law is on your side.
If you are sure that the other parent has kidnapped your child, you need to immediately call the Sheriff’s Department or go to your local police department and file a custodial interference report. They will help you enter the descriptive details of your child into the National Crime Information Center. If they do not do so, you can go to any local children’s clearinghouse where they are bound by law to make the entry. Even though having the entry will help you find the child, the police will not be able to pick up your child without a court order. Thus, it is best to get a court order before you insist on a computer entry. You can also ask for criminal charges against the abductor if they are violating the existing custody order. In case you are worried that the abductor can remove your child from the United States, you should immediately contact the U.S. Department of State and ask for their passport to be held.
There are also other ways to find your child and get them back without involving the court.
- You can check with the friends and relatives of the abductor for any information about your child.
- You can contact the abductor’s employer to check if he or she has missed work.
- You can also ask the school of your child to notify you if any other school asks for the record.
- You can ask your health care provider to let you know in case the child’s medical records are asked by anyone.
- If you have a joint bank account or a credit card with the abductor, you can easily track the movement of the abductor.
Remember that you need to be discreet and not alert the abductor of your intent, or it can jeopardize your efforts.
If you do not have a custody order yet, it is best to file and get it first. If you feel that there is a threat to you, or your child, by the abducting parent, you can file for a domestic violence protection order that will assign you custody. If you already know where your child is, it is best not to put yourself or your child in harm’s way.
Divorces have many difficult aspects, which is why you need an experienced attorney on your side. Chad Foster is a trusted Washington lawyer serving Snohomish and King counties with an office in Bothell. Contact us today to discuss your legal issue.