Two documents are available to help those needing to draft a motion and/or a child custody order for the specific purpose of preventing an international child abduction. See the Family Resource Guide on International Parental Kidnapping (January 2007) This 158 page publication is from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Programs. The first 20+ pages discuss the types of provisions a parent might request a court to put in a child custody determination in order to maximize the ability to prevent an international parental kidnapping. Essentially, the Dept of Justice has used profiling techniques to best safeguard against the potential for an international abduction.
You will recognize many of the "red flag" concerns from the above publication when you look at the Uniform Child Abduction Prevention Act. ["UCAPA"] See especially Section 6 [Contents of the Petition] and Section 7 [Factors to determine risk of abduction]. In a recent case involving a child who must cross the Michigan / Canadian border for parenting time, I used these sections to assist me in drafting the motion and proposed order seeking to obtain court approval of kidnapping prevention measures. I used some pages from the DOJ manual as an exhibit for persuasion. A Bill to enact UCAPA died in the House in Michigan in the 2007-2008 session. Given the extensive borders between Michigan and Canada, it's certainly legislation that I would encourage Michigan family lawyers to support.
Other ideas stated in the ABA discussion included the insertion of recitals about the foreign-born parent's acknowledgment of the ability to read and understand English. Additionally, consider having the documents translated and signed as an extra anticipatory defense nullification. In a recent case in my office, the divorce and property division was in Michigan, but the child custody issues were decided in Spain. I learned that obtaining translations can be time-consuming. It's better to do obtain them before you really need them. Another possibility is to insist that the foreign-born parent post a bond and/or obtain a mirror image of the child custody determination in his or her country of habitual residence.
The following states have adopted UCAPA: Colorado, District of Columbia, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota, Utah. Note that Louisiana has limited the scope of the act to international cases.
In 2009, the following states have a bill pending to adopt UCAPA: Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Washington.
For more information about parental kidnapping, see my web site at http://parental-kidnapping.com