Tampa Custody Attorney

Recourse when ex-spouse abducts child

Tampa, FL Custody Lawyer

Custody cases are one of the most emotionally charged issues in family law. Reason and sensibility are often thrown out the window when children are involved. Each parent wants what’s best for their child and unfortunately during custody cases, each parent’s view of the child’s best interest are often very different. Occasionally, during these arguments, one parent  decides to take off with the child, leaving the other parent understandably angry and hurt.

What legal recourse does the deserted parent have in getting their child back? If this is a situation you fear may happen to you, obtaining the assistance of family law attorneys experienced in child custody cases, can provide you with direction and guidance should you find yourself in a position where your ex-spouse has absconded with your child.

Parents will work with the help of law enforcement in finding and returning your child and then asking the court for a modified custody arrangement of ensure this does not happen again.

Law Enforcement Involvement

The criminal justice system does not like to get involved in family issues, however, when it is clear that the child has been kidnapped or if there is evidence of domestic violence, it is the smartest and fastest solution. When a parent abducts a child against the rules of the custody arrangement, state and federal laws are also broken and the search, in addition to state and federal authorities, will include the FBI. The parent looking for the child needs to permit the criminal justice system to run the investigation. If desired, the parent can enlist the help of a private detective who may be able to dedicate more time to your specific case. Understand, however, that the additional costs of hiring a private investigator may be prohibitive for many.

Changing Custody Agreement

Once this extremely emotional and terrifying incident is resolved and your child is safely home, you want to do everything you can to prohibit this from happening again. If you had joint custody, and the other parent took the child, contact an attorney to determine how the parent violated the custody agreement and prohibited your parental custody rights. The parental rights of the parent who took the child should be damaged and family court will not look favorably on their behavior. They could possibly permanently (or at the very least temporarily) lose their custody rights.  Discuss the ramifications of the abducting parent’s behavior and how your attorney can help prevent future incidents occurring.

Taking Your Child Out of the Country

If your child is taken out of the country, it becomes more difficult for law enforcement to assist you in their return. If the parent takes the child to one of the 90 countries that participates in the Hague Convention, which attempts to standardize and speed up the return of children and/or facilitate the enforcement of custody rights concerning a child who is wrongly moved internationally, often violating family court orders, it may be easier to get your child returned. Contacting public officials who may be able to use their political influence may expedite the situation. However, if your child is taken to a country not included in this agreement, it is critical to consult a Tampa, FL custody lawyer from The McKinney Law Group with experience in international custody cases.

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