Suppose you are afraid that your child will be taken abroad by your ex-partner. In that case it is important to evaluate your factual situation first. A lawyer from the Association IKO [International Child Abductions] will help you look at whether merely fear is at stake or whether there is a realistic risk of an international child abduction. In the event of a possible impending abduction many factors are part of the equation, which may different from case to case. The best thing is to assess your situation in a phone conversation with one of the lawyers who are members of our association, so that you can receive customized advice.
If you are afraid that your child will be taken abroad it is vital that you gather as much information as possible about your child/your children, your ex-partner and yourself. We call this documentation. This information includes, among other things, the personal details of your child/your children, address details, but also matters such as ethnic background, length, body type, shoe size, eye colour, whether your child wears glasses, hair colour, blood group and so on. You could also make a photograph of a copy of the passport. The same applies to your details and those of your ex-partner.
If there are direct indications that your child is about to be taken abroad by your ex-partner it is important for you to take action immediately and to get in touch with our association, one of the lawyers who is a member of our association, or with the IKO Centre [Centre for international Child Abductions] to obtain advice on which steps to take.
As soon as impending child abduction is at stake you probably feel that you need to report this to the police, but at that point no criminal offence has been committed yet. At that stage, you can not press charges with the police yet. However, you can ask the police to make a note of this, this is called a mutation. In this way, the police are aware of the situation sooner and can help you sooner too. If your child/children is/are taken/abducted abroad a criminal offence is committed.
If you are afraid that your ex-partner will take your child/children across the border please phone one of the lawyers from our association. You can find a lawyer in your area on the list published on this website.