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Parental abductions: Fighting to get your children back

There's no worse feeling than believing you can do nothing to protect your children. You do everything in your power to keep them happy and healthy, but sometimes, that's not enough.

For parents involved in custody disputes, there is potentially a risk of parental kidnapping. This is when one parent leaves with the children against court orders. For instance, a case involving a mother from California now living in Florida shows how serious an abduction can be. In her case, a court allowed her ex-husband to take their children to Lebanon, but he never returned with them. She had argued against letting them out of the country but could do nothing to stop it. Now, she's fighting for custody of her children in a country that doesn't honor the Hague Convention.

If you're a parent who is struggling with the thought of losing your children in this way, remember that there are some things you can do to prevent the other parent from disappearing with your children. For starters, keep any evidence that could show the courts that there is a real risk of the parent leaving town or going against court orders with your children. A text message, child's testimony or other information goes a distance if you have it.

Stay calm when you're in court, and make sure you have a foundation for any assertions you make. You want to show why the other parent is a potential danger to your children. It's also possible to insist on staying within the country for vacations or remaining in countries where the Hague Convention protects your parental rights.

Source: Florida Today, "Merritt Island mom fights to bring back children abducted to Lebanon by their dad — in 2017," Isadora Rangel, Feb. 20, 2018

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