Divorce is a tough process, and it is much harder to navigate when you have children involved. It gets even more complicated when an ex-spouse relocates a child across state lines without permission during a divorce.
This article explains what steps to take if you find yourself in this situation.
Identify parental kidnapping
In Louisiana, removing a child from the state without the other parent’s consent or court permission might be an instance of parental kidnapping. This is a serious offense that can have legal consequences.
Get in immediate contact
Try to establish immediate contact with the ex-spouse. Have a conversation to understand the circumstances and to make an appeal for the child’s return. However, avoid heated discussions that can escalate the situation.
Report to the authorities
Inform local law enforcement about the situation. Provide them with all relevant information, including the ex-spouse’s possible whereabouts. Police can work with law enforcement in other states to locate the child.
Keep records of all interactions with the ex-spouse, as well as attempts to locate and contact the child. This can be helpful in demonstrating the seriousness of the situation and the efforts made to resolve it.
File a motion in court
The court that issued the original custody order retains jurisdiction over the matter. File a motion in this court indicating the violation of the custody order. This can lead to the court ordering the return of the child or changing the custody order.
Reach out for help
There are many resources available for parents dealing with child abduction. National organizations can provide advice and assistance, as well as emotional support during this difficult time.
Cooperate with investigators
It is vital to cooperate fully with law enforcement and any court-appointed investigators. They are there to assist and their primary concern is the welfare of the child.
While dealing with a situation where an ex-spouse has relocated a child across state lines without permission during a Louisiana divorce can be stressful and emotionally draining, it is important to stay focused and take the right steps.