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Legislation aims to prevent parental abductions

LANSING (WKZO) -- New legislation in the State Senate would give divorce judges more power to prevent parental abductions of children. State Senator John Proos, a co sponsor, says that the plan would enact the Uniform Child Abduction Prevention Act, designed to protect children by creating standards for determining a child’s abduction risk and allowing preventative actions that the judges could take.

Proos says that, sometimes, a divorce dispute will lead to a child being kidnapped by one of its parents, and more needs to be done to prevent such crimes.

The new legislation would enable a divorce judge to order a change in custody for a child if there's a risk one of the parents might abduct them. It would also let a judge order prevention measures like imposing travel restrictions or placing the child’s name in the US Department of State’s Child Passport Issuance Alert Program. Risk factors for abduction might include previous threats or attempts to abduct the child, strong ties to another country, or recent attempts to apply for a passport.