We have previously written about the serious problem of child custody-related international abductions. There have been dozens of cases in recent years of parents who flee the country with their children in violation of a child custody order. Sometimes they flee before child custody can ever be decided.
The problem, while somewhat rare, often results in heartbreak for the children taken and for the parent left behind. Thankfully, one recent case ended safely before the fleeing parent could set foot on foreign soil. And it couldn’t have happened without quick work and cooperation between the FBI and United Airlines.
According to news sources, a plane that had left from Virginia was flying over Canadian airspace when it was ordered to come back to the United States. The FBI had learned that a woman was flying to China with her son, apparently with no plans to return. The child’s father is an American citizen who reported what he suspected to be parental abduction.
Because the plane was able to return to U.S. soil, the mother was arrested and the child was returned to his father. In cases where one parent successfully flees to another country, a lengthy, international legal battle is sometimes the only way to get the child returned. This can take years with no guarantee of success.
If you live in Missouri or Illinois and you fear that your ex-spouse has abducted your child to another state or out of the country, there are legal remedies available. To learn more, please visit the child abduction matters page on our website.
Source: CBS This Morning, “United Airlines flight diverted over child custody battle,” Sept. 5, 2014