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You can prevent parental kidnappings with the right help

A child's abduction is a parent's worst nightmare. Unfortunately, it's sometimes the other parent who's to blame. To keep your child safe, you need to know why these incidents take place and know the risks of them happening to your family.

Why do parents take their children away?

Sometimes, parents use this as a way to spite the other parent or to force reconciliation. Other times, the parent who kidnaps the child honestly fears losing his or her rights to see the child. In some cases, the kidnapping is warranted. For example, a parent who believes the other is molesting or abusing the child might take the child away to prevent the other from visiting or having custody over the child alone.

Are there specific risks that make people more likely to face this situation?

One of the biggest factors is the volatility of your relationship with your child's other parent. If you fight often or have problems over visitation, then this can be a red flag. Another thing to look out for involves mixed-culture parents. When one parent is from another culture, it's possible that he or she could take the child home and refuse to return him or her.

When a parent has no job or is able to work from anywhere as a telecommuter, this also makes it easier for the parent to take the child away. Other things to look for include the other parent being paranoid or noticing that he or she is collecting your child's school, medical or birth records with no reason to do so.

If you notice unusual actions taking place, you can speak with your attorney about protecting your child. There are ways to prevent your child's other parent from taking your child.

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