CA Family Law: I have a contested custody hearing next month concerning my 14 month old daughter who I have just been declared her father. I request Joint, but the mom wants Sole legal and Phys. There had never been a DV situation between us. The mom wrote to me last week that she “intends” to take our baby girl abroad for 14 days, after mediation, but before our custody hearing (we are under the standard restraining orders not to remove our daughter from the state of CA pending our custody hearing). I wrote to her that I do not approve, and reminded her of our court orders not to do so. I also volunteered to watch our girl, if she needed to travel, but she declined my offer. I asked her if she had obtained a US passport or international air tickets for our child but the mom has not responded. 10 days have now past and the mom will still not give me any information, i.e. passport info, etc., Should I file the Child Abduction Prevention Orders pending our court hearing? Should I call the Child Protective Agency? The mom has strong emotional ties abroad, Her parents, all her relatives, siblings, were born and still live abroad, no relative is a US citizenship. She got her US citizenship 5 years ago through her work. Also the mom works for a company with HQ abroad. Since the mom will not respond to my request if she obtained a passport for our daughter, etc., or confirm that she will not travel abroad with our girl, I am worried.
1 Answer from Attorneys
You are absolutely right to be worried in this situation. You should IMMEDIATELY file an OSC for child abduction orders. If she is from India, Japan or China, you should be INTENSELY concerned and should probably include a request for emergency temporary custody based on the mother's stated intention to violate the existing automatic restraining orders. This is because India and Japan officially refuse to cooperate with U.S. child custody and parent-abduction proceedings, and the Chinese legal system while supposedly cooperative is virtually useless in these cases. If you would like further assistance with this, I coincidentally will be in San Jose tomorrow and would be happy to make an appointment for a consultation. If you would like assistance and tomorrow is not convenient, please feel free to contact me to make an appointment.