Parental abduction is much more common than families like to think and many of these in-family kidnappings happen during or shortly after a divorce and child custody agreement. In some of these cases, there were red flags of parental kidnapping before it occurred and the abduction could have been prevented.


If you believe that your children may be at risk for parental kidnapping, one step you can take toward prevention is putting specific provisions in your child custody order that hinder abductions. Here are three:


  • Include visitation restrictions – Many child abductions happen during child visitations. To prevent these abductions, consider laying down rules about visitation, such as considering supervised visits or visits in neutral locations. If you believe your ex might try to flee the country with your children, consider having them check their passport with a neutral party during visitations.
  • Outline abduction response procedures – You may wish to include authorization for police to recover the child in the case of a suspected parental kidnapping scenario. You can also detail what exactly will take place if either parent violates custody orders or abducts the child.
  • Require that both parents post bond – This may seem like an extreme measure, but if your children are at high risk for family abductions, this solution may prevent the trauma of a kidnapping. In the case that the child is abducted, the bond money can be used to recover the child. At the same time, posting bond deters parents from abductions in the first place.


Having a detailed and thorough custody order can help you with a large number of legal issues and it can also help stop problems like family abductions before they take place. Remember: always keep a certified copy of the child custody order with you.


Do you believe that your children are at risk for parental abduction, or are you seeking a Seattle child custody attorney for another reason? Contact the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny today to schedule an appointment and speak to a knowledgeable lawyer at 425-460-0550.

Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington