International Parental Abduction

702 565-4335

If you have concerns about the safety of your child and concerns about the other parent regarding a possible international child abduction you need to speak to a qualified attorney immediately to help you to try to prevent this from occurring. McFarling Law Group has appeared before the Nevada Supreme Court for International Child Abduction Case Appeals.

You have a right to seek a child custody determination for the child if none is in place. If the court finds that the evidence establishes a credible risk of abduction of the child, the court on its own motion may order abduction prevention measures in a child custody proceeding. Nevada State Legislature Child Abduction Prevention Measures: state that you may file a petition seeking abduction prevention measures to protect the child pursuant to the provisions of chapter 125D.

A district attorney or the Attorney General acting may seek a warrant to take physical custody of a child or other appropriate abduction prevention measures. A court of this State has temporary emergency jurisdiction if the court finds a credible risk of abduction.

At McFarling Law Group, our family law attorneys are experienced in dealing with the Clark County Courts on all family law issues, including international child abduction. If you would like to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced International Parental Abduction lawyers in the Las Vegas, Nevada area, call our office at 702.565.4335.

The U.S. Department of State’s Child Abduction Prevention Tips lists:

The Importance of a Custody Decree
Under the laws of the United States and many foreign countries, if there is no decree of custody prior to an abduction, both parents may be considered to have equal legal custody of their child. Even if both parents have custody of a child, removing a child from the United States against another parent’s wishes can still be considered a crime in every state. In some cases an abducting parent may be charged with a Federal crime under the International Parental Kidnapping Crime Act (IPKCA).Nevertheless, a custody decree can be helpful to prevent an international parental child abduction, or to recover your child if he/she is abducted.

Ask your attorney if you should obtain a decree of sole custody or a decree that prohibits the travel of your child without your permission or that of the court. If you have or would prefer to have a joint custody decree, you may want to make certain that it prohibits your child from traveling abroad without your permission or that of the court.

The American Bar Association also suggests requesting the court, if the other parent is not a U.S. citizen or has significant ties to a foreign country, to require that parent to post a bond. This may be useful both as a deterrent to abduction and, if forfeited because of an abduction, as a source of revenue for you in your efforts to locate and recover your child.

U.S. Passports

Two Parent Signature Law
U.S. law requires the signature of both parents, or the child’s legal guardians, prior to issuance of a U.S. passport to children under the age of 16. To obtain a U.S. passport for a child under the age of 16, both parents (or the child’s legal guardians) must execute the child’s passport application and provide documentary evidence demonstrating that they are the parents or guardians. If this cannot be done, the person executing the passport application must provide documentary evidence that he or she has sole custody of the child, has the consent of the other parent to the issuance of the passport, or is acting in place of the parents and has the consent of both parents (or of a parent/legal guardian with sole custody over the child to the issuance of the passport).

Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program

You may also ask that your child’s name be entered into the State Department’s Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program (CPIAP). Entering your child into the Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program will enable the Department to notify you or your attorney if an application for a U.S. passport for the child is received anywhere in the United States or at any U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. If you have a court order that either grants you sole custody, joint legal custody, or prohibits your child from traveling without your permission or the permission of the court, the Department may refuse to issue a new or renewal U.S. passport for your child. The Department may not, however, revoke a passport that has already been issued to the child. There is also no way to track the use of a passport once it has been issued, since there are no exit controls for people leaving the U.S. If your child already has a passport, you should take steps to ensure that it is kept from a potential abductor by asking the court or attorneys to hold it.

The U.S. Department of State’s International Child Abduction Remedies lists in Sec. 11603. Judicial remedies:

(a) Jurisdiction of courts
The courts of the States and the United States district courts shall have concurrent original jurisdiction of actions arising under the Convention.

(b) Petitions
Any person seeking to initiate judicial proceedings under the Convention for the return of a child or for arrangements for organizing or securing the effective exercise of rights of access to a child may do so by commencing a civil action by filing a petition for the relief sought in any court which has jurisdiction of such action and which is authorized to exercise its jurisdiction in the place where the child is located at the time the petition is filed.

(c) Notice
Notice of an action brought under subsection (b) of this section shall be given in accordance with the applicable law governing notice in interstate child custody proceedings.

(d) Determination of case
The court in which an action is brought under subsection (b) of this section shall decide the case in accordance with the Convention.

(e) Burdens of proof
(1) A petitioner in an action brought under subsection (b) of this section shall establish by a preponderance of the evidence –
(A) in the case of an action for the return of a child, that the child has been wrongfully removed or retained within the meaning of the Convention; and
(B) in the case of an action for arrangements for organizing or securing the effective exercise of rights of access, that the petitioner has such rights.
(2) In the case of an action for the return of a child, a respondent who opposes the return of the child has the burden of establishing –
(A) by clear and convincing evidence that one of the exceptions set forth in article 13b or 20 of the Convention applies; and
(B) by a preponderance of the evidence that any other exception set forth in article 12 or 13 of the Convention applies.

(f) Application of Convention
For purposes of any action brought under this chapter –
(1) the term ”authorities”, as used in article 15 of the Convention to refer to the authorities of the state of the habitual residence of a child, includes courts and appropriate government agencies;
(2) the terms ”wrongful removal or retention” and ”wrongfully removed or retained”, as used in the Convention, include a removal or retention of a child before the entry of a custody order regarding that child; and
(3) the term ”commencement of proceedings”, as used in article 12 of the Convention, means, with respect to the return of a child located in the United States, the filing of a petition in accordance with subsection (b) of this section.

(g) Full faith and credit
Full faith and credit shall be accorded by the courts of the States and the courts of the United States to the judgment of any other such court ordering or denying the return of a child, pursuant to the Convention, in an action brought under this chapter.

(h) Remedies under Convention not exclusive
The remedies established by the Convention and this chapter shall be in addition to remedies available under other laws or international agreements.