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Does parental abduction have warning signs?

On Behalf of | Apr 9, 2024 | Child Abduction

Child abduction is a parent’s worst nightmare. Fear and panic accompany the knowledge your child was taken by their other parent, and you just want them back in your arms.

The only person to blame for this scenario is your ex-partner, but recognizing the signs that they may abduct your child can help prevent it from occurring.

1. History of threats

One of the most significant warning signs is if a parent has previously threatened to abduct the child or has made attempts in the past. These threats should never be taken lightly, as they can indicate the parent’s willingness to act on their words.

2. Controlling behavior

The parent exhibits controlling behavior towards their children. They may be reluctant to share custody or try to restrict the other parent’s access to the child.

3. Strong ties to another country

The other parent having strong familial or emotional ties to another country is another red flag. The risk becomes more pronounced if they have made recent trips abroad to establish or reinforce those connections, possibly laying the groundwork for moving there with the child.

4. Sudden lifestyle changes

Quitting a job, selling property, closing bank accounts or securing documents such as passports can indicate that the other parent plans to leave with the child.

5. Parental alienation

Parents at risk of abducting their child may begin to make alienating remarks about the other parent, attempting to turn the child against them. This psychological manipulation can serve to justify their actions in their mind and potentially in the eyes of the child, making the abduction seem like a rescue or escape.

If you notice any of these signs, especially if you are in the middle of a contentious custody battle, it’s imperative to seek help immediately. Document all behavior and indicators and discuss your situation with someone who can offer support and intervention.