Each day, some 2,000 children are reported missing. Statistics indicate that most of these kidnappings are committed by the child’s own parent, not a stranger. How big is the problem, why does it occur, and what can you do to prevent it from happening to your child? The following explains, and it provides details on where to find assistance if you suspect that parental kidnapping may become an issue in your Illinois divorce case.
Examining the Causes of Parental Kidnapping
Although each case is unique, statistics offer some insight on the causes of parental kidnapping. For example, some 65 percent of all cases occur shortly after a parent has had a change to their rights. This statistic suggests a few possibilities; some parents may abduct their child to retaliate against a parent that has infringed upon their rights, but others may do so because of fear of losing their child or grief over the loss of quality time with them.
Another interesting statistic is that only 6 percent of the children abducted by their parents are never returned; this suggests that parental kidnapping is rarely about keeping the child. Instead, the abducting parent may be attempting to invoke fear, guilt, or regret from the parent that infringed upon their rights. Alternatively, they may be attempting to change their situation, but are not thinking rationally about the possible consequences of abducting their child.
Preventing Parental Kidnapping
While, ultimately, you cannot stop the parental abduction of a child, it is possible to reduce the risk. Start by ensuring that you are respectful of the other parent’s time with the child; do not attempt to cut them off without a valid reason, and never attempt to stop parenting time unless you have a court order to do so. Also, ensure that your child’s school and daycare have copies of any parenting time agreements and orders of protection. It is also advised that you have your children picked up and dropped off at school and that they are never left to play in the yard or in the neighborhood without adult supervision.
If Your Child Becomes a Victim
While only one in four cases of parental kidnapping is reported, it is crucial that you contact the authorities if your child is abducted by their parent. Safety, return of the child, and documentation of the situation are all necessary, and best done with aid of law enforcement. It is also suggested that you contact your divorce attorney and advise them of the situation, either when things have started to calm down, or once the child is found. It could have an impact on your Illinois divorce case.
Contact Our DuPage County Family Law Attorneys
If you suspect that your child may be at risk for parental abduction, or if you are dealing with a dangerous situation and need to protect your child, contact Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices for assistance. We can examine your case, explain your options, and help you reduce the risk of any harm coming to your child. Schedule a free consultation with our DuPage County family law attorneys to get started. Call 630-932-9100 today.
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