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Federal investigators help father enforce child custody

A parent who attempts to remove his or her child from the United States illegally, after having made a parental rights agreement, may face serious consequences. A Pennsylvania parent may desire help in enforcing a child custody order in the event that the other parent disregards the courts. A flight scheduled to leave the United States and land hours later in Beijing was recently stopped after taking off and asked to return to the terminal due to a child custody situation.

Federal authorities intervened and made the request after the Federal Bureau of Investigation was informed that a woman may be attempting to illegally remove her child from the United States without consent. Although the young child has dual citizenship in both the United States and China, the American father and Chinese native mother had a joint custody agreement in place following their divorce. Their child custody agreement requests consent from both parents before the child can be taken on an international journey.

When the plane landed, FBI personnel immediately removed the mother, child and a grandmother traveling with them. The mother was accused of attempting to commit international parental kidnapping and was detained, allowing the child to be placed safely with his American father. Reports indicate that the mother confessed to her illegal activity after being caught by authorities.

It is considered a federal offense when one parent attempts to remove a child from the United States with the intention to contest the child custody rights of the other parent. Although the United States will often make negotiation attempts to bring back children who have been abducted by a parent, it can be difficult; stopping the situation before it takes place can help protect the child. A Pennsylvania parent who suspects such behavior or has suffered their child being internationally abducted by their other guardian may seek help in investigating and halting the situation.

Source: wdsu.com, "Custody battle diverts flight", Katia Hetter, Sept. 5, 2014

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