If you have discovered that your child has run away from home, it can put you on edge and be very upsetting. When a child continues to leave without permission or tries to hide from their parents, the likelihood is that there is something wrong, whether that’s unhappiness at home, school or with other aspects of their life.
As a divorced parent, it is necessary to know where your child is at all times. Whether that means that they are with you or the other parent, you just want to be sure that they’re safe.
If your child continues to run away after your divorce, you could find that your right to custody or visitation is threatened, especially if the other parent feels that you’re not being as present as you should be. There may also be questions about why your child keeps running away, so you could be accused of abuse or neglect.
What can you do to resolve this conflict and protect your rights?
The first thing to do in situations like this is to make sure your child is safe. Once they’re found, you should calmly sit down and talk to them. Ask them why they have run away from your home or avoided coming home. If there is not a clear answer, such as getting a bad grade or being upset about living somewhere new, then it may be time to look into setting up an appointment with a children’s therapist.
During this time, you should take steps to be communicative with the other parent. Tell them what’s going on and what you are doing to make your child safer in your care. If the problem is something that happened at the other parent’s home or a result of something they said, note that and have a discussion. You may want to reach out to your attorney to be sure that any allegations of neglect, abuse or disrespect toward you or your child is recorded. Fighting visitation time with one parent or the other is something to take seriously.
If changes need to be made to your custody arrangement for your child’s benefit, a modification may be requested. Take the time to figure out what it is that your child is going through, and give them the support they need to get through it.