I Allowed My Daughter to Visit My Husband; He Did Not Bring Her Home. We Have No Court Orders, What Can I Do in regards to Parental Kidnapping in Orange County California?
Seeking help with a Parental Kidnapping in Orange County California? Although it may not seem like it at the time, in this situation, you did the right thing by allowing your daughter to visit your husband rather than preventing them from spending time together. Unfortunately, it is usually best to have a custody order in place in situations where the parents are not together or not on good terms, because it is easier to enforce a custody order than to put one in place when the child is already gone.
Children are more often kidnapped by their own family members or close family friends than by strangers in California. If you are worried that your husband will not bring your daughter home and you believe that he has stolen her, you do have several options.
• Call the authorities. Start by calling either the police or the sheriff in your area, and report the child as missing. Make sure that you tell the authorities as much as you can about your husband and your child.
• Start a child abduction investigation. You can do this by visiting your district attorney’s office. When you do this, bring a recent photo of your child, as well as the contact information of anyone that your husband or your child may contact for assistance in getting away.
The best way to prevent a situation like this from happening is to have a child custody order in place. California has agreements with other states and other countries so that when a custody order exists, it can be enforced even if the child leaves California or the United States.
Even without a valid child custody and visitation order, you may be able to use the Hague convention to your advantage. It can help with international child custody issues, especially if your child has been illegally removed from the United States.
Parental Kidnapping in California (or out of California)
When two parents are not together, even if they are married, it is best to create a legally enforceable child custody agreement. This way, there is a legal, written agreement that states how the parents are meant to spend time with the child, and when either parent deviates from the legal order, they will face consequences.
Without a legal court order regarding custody, the other parent may be able to create a child custody order in another jurisdiction - however; this can be difficult depending on where the child lives.
If you are worried about parental kidnapping, your first step should be to create a child custody order. Make sure that it is legally enforceable and has been signed by a judge. The other parent needs a copy of the order, and you should also keep one on you, as well as with any person who plays a prominent role in the child’s life.
As preventative measures, the following can help.
• Keep full face and full body photographs of your child that have been taken within the last six months on hand.
• Maintain updated information about your child’s other parent, including a photo, a physical description, any identification numbers like a passport number, social security number, bank account number, license plate number, etc.
• Keep contact information for people who are prominent in your child’s life, including names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, etc.
• Keep contact information for people who are prominent in your child’s other parent’s life, including names address, phone numbers, email addresses, etc.
• Teach your children your phone number and address, so that if they are lost, they can call you for help. It can also help to teach them about making collect calls, or to discuss what to do in case of kidnapping.
• Make sure your child is aware of the custody plan, even if they only know that they spend certain time with one parent, and certain time with the other. Patterns and routines are important for child development, and this can help in case of kidnapping as well.
If kidnapping is a serious fear in your family situation, you should speak to an attorney about what to do.
What Is the Hague Convention?
The Hague Convention is a document that has been signed by many countries around the world. It’s main function is to ensure that children who have been removed from one country that is a part of the Hague Convention in violation of a child custody and visitation order is (usually) returned to his or her original or home country. The idea behind this is that the child’s custody and visitation matters should be determined in the child’s country of “habitual residence”.
In order to request for a child to be returned to the United States through the Hague Convention, the following need to be shown.
• You’ll need to show that your child was ‘habitually resident’ in the United States (a country that is a party to the Hague Convention), and that your child was wrongfully retained or removed to another country that is also a party to the convention.
• Show that the retention or removal to the other country was in violation of your custodial rights, AND that you were exercising your rights at the time of the retention or removal. You may wish to speak to an attorney about this portion of the law, especially if you do not have a child custody order in place. Even without one, you still have parental rights.
• The Hague Convention needs to have been in place between the two countries in question at the time that the wrongful retention or removal occurred. Again, make sure to speak with an attorney about this portion.
• Your child needs to be under the age of 16 when you file your Hague Convention request.
If you are a legal parent of your child, you have rights to custody and visitation with your child, even if you don’t have a custody order in place. This simply means that you have the right to create a custody order regarding your child. However, as this applies to the Hague Convention, it is always best to discuss your case with a qualified child custody attorney in California.
There are a few exceptions to the Hague Convention, even if you have shown the above. The purpose of all child custody laws is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the child. Therefore, if returning the child to his or her country of habitual residence would present a risk of physical or psychological harm to the child, he or she may not be returned. Once the child reaches the age of 16, he or she will have a say in whether or not to return to the home country as well.
Using the Hague Convention
If your child has been taken to another country where the Hague Convention is applicable, you may be able to file a Hague application. Remember that every child and every family situation is unique, and you will need to discuss your options with a qualified attorney or your county officer. The Hague Convention is not applicable to all situations.
First, contact an attorney or your country officer to determine whether or not filing a Hague application is a good idea, or whether it can help you. While your county officer can help you understand your options, only a qualified attorney can provide you with legal advice. It is in your best interests to do this as soon as possible - the sooner you take action, the more likely it is that the Hague Convention can help you.
If you decide to fill out a Hague application, make sure to submit two copies. You’ll need the following information:
• A marriage certificate, if you have one,
• A divorce decree, if you have one,
• Your child’s birth certificate(s),
• Evidence that shows you have a custodial right to the child,
• Photographs of the child and both parents,
• Your statements regarding the wrongful removal or retention of the child,
• Other documents may be necessary - contact your attorney.
When you submit your application, make sure that you have had it looked over by a qualified attorney in California who has experience in child custody, child abduction and/or the Hague Convention.
California Child Custody and Child Abduction Attorney
If your child has been taken by his or her other parent, or if you are worried that your child may be kidnapped, it is in your best interests and the best interests of your child to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Do not prevent your child from spending time with his or her other parent on your own - this can hurt you in future custody proceedings. If you need to, obtain a short term or ex parte custody order. Always consult with an attorney regarding your child’s wellbeing. Contact the attorneys at Yanez & Associates to schedule your free initial consultation today.
Table of Contents
- 1 I Allowed My Daughter to Visit My Husband; He Did Not Bring Her Home. We Have No Court Orders, What Can I Do in regards to Parental Kidnapping in Orange County California?
- 2 Parental Kidnapping in California (or out of California)
- 3 What Is the Hague Convention?
- 4 Using the Hague Convention
- 5 California Child Custody and Child Abduction Attorney