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Involved In A Heated Divorce? 4 Steps That Can Protect Your Children From Parental Abduction

You don't want to think about parental abduction. However, now that you're involved in a contentious divorce and custody battle, you have to consider the possibility. This is particularly true if your spouse has ever threatened to run with the children if you tried to leave. Nearly half of all child abductions involve a parent or other family member.

While you shouldn't spend every moment panicking, you should plan for the possibility. Here are four steps you should take that will help should the situation ever arise.

Keep Updated Contact Information

If your spouse runs with your children, law enforcement is going to need contact information. The time to prepare that information is before you actually need it. Keep an updated list of contact information for your spouse. This list should include contact information for your spouse's parents, siblings, close friends and business associates. This list will give law enforcement a head start when it comes to tracking down your children.

Keep Updated Parental Information

While you're updating the contact information, don't forget to update the information about your spouse. You'll need employment information, including name, address and phone number of their current employer. You should also include their driver's license number, Social Security number, and license plate numbers of their current vehicles. If you can, try to obtain a current full-face photo of your spouse.

Keep Current Photos of Children

Children develop new features quickly as they're growing up. Keep current photos of your children. Be sure to include at least one full-face photo for each of your children. Side views are also helpful, especially if your children have distinctive features – such as scars or birthmarks on one side of their face.

Teach Children How and When to Use the Phone

Your children are going to know there is a problem before you do. Teach them how to use the phone and have them memorize important numbers. Some of numbers you should have them memorize – if their age will allow it – are home phone, your cell phone and your parent's numbers.

As soon as children are old enough to use the phone, they should be taught how to use 911. Instruct them to reach out to you as soon as they know there's a problem. It's also important that you teach your children how to call 911 without speaking. This is crucial, especially if your child is in a position where they can't speak. The operator will be able to hear the conversation going on in the background and respond accordingly.

If you're involved in a heated divorce, and your spouse has threatened to take the children, you need to be prepared. The information provided above will help keep your kids safe. If you think your spouse may run with your children, you need to notify your attorney and law enforcement as soon as possible.