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Number two cause of missing children is family abduction

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children released some statistics this month that are cause for alarm. The number one reason for missing children in the United States is runaways. The number two reason is family abductions.

A study published by the U.S. Department of Justice earlier this year reported that there were 230,600 child abductions in the country in 2013. This was the latest year of statistics available from the Justice Department.

If you are worried about a possible abduction of your child by another family member, take the following steps with the help of an experienced attorney:

  • Detail the rights of both parents by acquiring a visitation and custody order.
  • Request that the judge include prevention provisions in the order issued. These should include restrictions on removing the child from his or her home and unauthorized pick-up of the child.
  • Have the child fingerprinted.
  • Always keep updated photos of the child with you as well as a detailed written description.
  • Let all babysitters, schools, and childcare centers know about the child custody orders.

If the child is old enough to understand the situation and you are deeply concerned about his or her safety, you could also consider sharing the custody orders with the child so he or she knows what can and cannot be done by your co-parent and other family members.

Have you been dealing with child custody issues? Do you worry that your child is not safe with the other person involved in the child custody agreement? A Tennessee family law attorney can help you explore your potential legal options.

Source: Austin American-Statesman, "Family abductions are No. 2 cause of missing children in U.S.," Nov. 23, 2017

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