Key #4: The Buddy System.
Although summer has come to a close, lots of families continue to hit the roads (and even the seas and air) on vacation over long weekends, holidays and school vacations. Most divorced families agree upon a parenting plan which provides for each parent to have regular parenting time, as well as holiday, school vacation and summer parenting time. For most families, transitions will be routine. But, have you ever thought of what happens if one parent takes a child, whether for their regular parenting time, or vacation, and fails to return them?
Now, if it’s just a few hours, that’s one thing. If a parent is habitually late, there are remedies for that. A parent can even be held in contempt for that behavior! But what if a parent takes a child on vacation, and purposefully fails to return them? Even takes them outside the country? Below are our three keys to child safety.
It’s the kind of place you can ride horses in the road.
Summer is over and even in a 90 degree heat wave the kids have to go back to school. Last Wednesday was the first day of school in my quiet little rural community. It’s the kind of old-school small town where folks stop to chat on the street and send their kids out to play without a second thought. On Wednesday that sense of safety was taken from us. After a phoned-in bomb threat, kids were in lockdown at school. Then later in the day, we were informed that a police cruiser was fired upon and had burst into flame. We were all told to “shelter in place” while helicopters roared overhead and SWAT teams drove by. My grandkids and their nanny sheltered at my house. Facebook was our real time connection to neighbors and friends.
In my previous post on Adopting a Stepchild, I explained the steps to go through for an uncontested adoption. Many adoptions are very simple and straightforward. However, in situations where there are disagreements about what is best for a child or a parent’s rights are being terminated, the courts must become further involved.
The news media has been buzzing about an internal Memorandum reportedly sent from the Chief Judge of the Probate and Family Court, Angela Ordonez, on August 20, 2015 seeking review of all contested adoption cases in the court system. Specifically, the memorandum is said to require that all pending private adoption cases be reviewed to ensure that children at the center of those disputes have attorneys appointed to represent their interests. Pursuant to the case of Adoption of Meaghan, decided in 2012, children are entitled to counsel in contested adoption proceedings, even private adoptions.