In some cases, a parent may be concerned that a divorcing or divorced partner may intend to abduct their children. This abduction can occur for many reasons; nevertheless, it is crucial to prevent these abductions. Colorado has enacted laws to address these concerns to prevent abductions and punish those responsible for abductions.
At Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC, our experienced lawyers act swiftly to resolve child abduction matters and ensure the safe return of the abducted child. If you are navigating this particular family law issue, contact us today.
Colorado Abduction Prevention Lawyers
If you are facing a child abduction matter, our family attorneys at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC can be of assistance. Serious parental kidnapping charges can be brought against a parent who illegally takes his or her child out of the state or country in violation of the other parent’s rights. Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC can fight on your behalf for the best possible outcome in your case.
We accept abduction cases throughout the greater Denver metropolitan area including Jefferson County, Douglas County, Adams County, Arapahoe County, Boulder County, and Broomfield County. Call (719) 328-1616 now to schedule your first consultation.
- Uniform Child Abduction Prevention Act (UCAPA)
- UCAPA Factors
- How The Court And Parents Can Prevent Child Abductions
- Additional Resources
The Uniform Child Abduction Prevention Act, or UCAPA, is a statute that assists parents with preventing another parent from removing a child from the state of Colorado without the other’s consent. The law authorizes the court to establish measures to prevent a child from being abducted by a parent if the court finds a credible risk that abduction will occur. The law also permits an authorized party or entity to request custody determinations in order to move for the court to implement child abduction prevention measures. Only the court may make custody determinations and impose child abduction prevention measures upon petition. If circumstances require, the court may also exercise authority on a temporary emergency basis if there is a credible risk of abduction.
As discussed above, the courts cannot determine that abduction prevention measures are necessary without evidence suggesting that abduction has or will occur. Some of the factors that courts consider when deciding if abduction may occur include:
- Whether a parent may take the child to a country with laws or rules that would substantially impair or that would prevent the other parent from exercising their parental rights, such as being able to contact the child, preventing the other parent from traveling in the country because of their gender, their nationality, marital status, religious affiliation, or other rules which prevent the child from being removed from the particular country
- Whether the parent had attempted or has successfully abducted the child before or attempted to abduct the child
- That the parent has violated previous child custody and visitation orders/arrangements.
- The parent does not have extensive ties to Colorado or the United States
- These ties include financial, cultural, family, and emotional
- Whether the parent has committed offenses like child abuse or neglect, domestic violence, or stalking
- Whether the parent has threatened that they are going to abduct the child
- Whether the parent has taken actions that suggest that they might intend to abduct the child, like quitting their job, ending their lease, selling property, requesting the child’s medical records, and more
- That the parent may take the child to a country that is not subject to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction or does not have the legal procedures to return the parent and/or child back to the United States should the parent seek residence there either temporarily or permanently
- That the parent may take the child to a country that threatens the child’s physical and/or mental well-being due to human rights violations
The factors the court relies on to determine the risk of abduction are case-specific, and not all cases are similar. The list above is not exhaustive. There can be other factors and circumstances which indicate to the court that an abduction risk exists.
The UPACA gives the court discretion to impose controls and measures to prevent one parent from abducting their child should the facts and circumstances support a finding that an abduction may occur. Some actions that the court may take include:
- Imposing travel restrictions requiring the parent intending to travel outside of the area where the child residents to give the other parent an itinerary outlining their travel plans, a list of addresses and phone numbers where the child can be contacted, and copies of any associated travel documents
- Preventing the parent from removing the child from Colorado, the United States, or other areas without prior permission from the court or other parent
- Restricting contact with the child to only certain times
- Monitoring and prohibiting violations of child visitation, custody, and parenting time
- Preventing that parent from removing the child from school or day-care
- Registering a UCAPA order in any state where the parent may take the child
- Placing the child’s name on the United States State Department child passport issuance program so that there is an alert when the passport is used to take the child out of the country
- Require that the child’s passports be surrendered so the child may not be taken out of the country
- Prohibiting any passport applications for the child until the threat of abduction has passed
- Restricting that parent’s parenting time
- Requiring that the parent be supervised while their child is with them during parenting time
- Issuing a warrant to take custody of the child
- Issuing a warrant to locate and return the child to the other parent
If a parent is concerned that their spouse poses an abduction risk, they can submit a motion to the court to institute abduction prevention procedures.
International Parental Child Abduction – Access the official website for the US Department of State Travel to view prevention tips on international parental child abduction. You can also view important abduction reports and data.
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children – Click the link to visit the official website for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children which offers information about family abduction. You can also view statistics.
Denver Abduction Prevention Attorneys | Denver County, CO
At Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC, our capable family law attorneys professionally handle all types of family law cases and specifically know the laws relating to parental kidnapping, child abduction, child custody, and relocation. If you are facing a child abduction situation, let us use our extensive knowledge and experience to help you.
Our team at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC offers legal advice and representation to clients in Denver, Colorado Springs, and surrounding areas in Colorado. We invite you to contact us to schedule a meeting. Call (719) 328-1616 today.