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What steps can you take to prevent international child abduction?

As a resident of Texas who had a child with someone who comes from another nation, you may have justifiable concerns about what could potentially happen to your shared child after your relationship comes to a close. If the relationship between you and your child’s other parent has become particularly ugly or acrimonious, you may have concerns about your ex moving back to his or her home nation and attempting to take your child along.

There are, however, per the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, several actions you can take now to make it that much harder for your child’s other parent to remove your son or daughter from the United States without your permission. If you have fears about international child abduction, one of the first things you should do is take prompt action, and you may wish to do so by seeking a court order.

While the content of a court order can vary to some extent based on circumstances, you may be able to get one that, for example, prevents anyone from securing a passport on your child’s behalf. You may also be able to obtain a court order that otherwise prevents your child from traveling to certain locations, or in the company of certain people, and obtaining such a court order may be your best line of defense against international abduction.

It is also wise to make sure your local authorities are aware of your situation, and if you are successful in your attempts to secure a court order, you will also want to make sure law enforcement officers have a copy of it. In addition to contacting your local authorities, you may also want to consider contacting the foreign embassy or consulate in your ex’s home nation to alert them of your situation. Why? Your former partner’s home nation may also be able to issue your child a passport if your child has dual citizenship.

This information about preventing international child abductions is meant for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice.

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