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In re Marriage of Badawiyeh.

2023 COA 4. No. 22CA0174. Dissolution of Marriage—Uniform Child Abduction Prevention Act—Factors to Determine Abduction Risk.

January 12, 2023

Father petitioned for dissolution of marriage. During an evidentiary hearing, mother expressed concern about the children traveling internationally with father, saying she had some fears he might not bring the children back. After taking evidence, the district court found, among other things, that father and the children had Jordanian and US passports; father had relatives in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which is not a signatory to the Hague Convention; and during the marriage, the family traveled regularly to the UAE. The district court issued permanent orders allowing father and the children to travel internationally every year during the children’s winter break, subject to requirements that father (1) surrender the children’s US and Jordanian passports to a neutral third party who could release them before travel; and (2) post a $50,000 bond with the court naming mother as the beneficiary before an overseas trip, as security for his return with the children. Father unsuccessfully moved for post-trial relief.

On appeal, father contended that the district court erred by imposing abduction prevention measures under the Uniform Child Abduction Prevention Act (UCAPA) without first finding that there was a credible risk that he would abduct the children. A district court may not impose abduction prevention measures under the UCAPA without first finding that the parent presents a credible abduction risk and evaluating all of the CRS § 14-13.5-107(1) factors. Here, the district court failed to specifically find that father posed a credible risk of abducting the children. Instead, it relied almost entirely on the UAE’s status as a nonsignatory to the Hague Convention and mother’s concerns as a basis for imposing the abduction prevention measures. Accordingly, the district court erred.

The portion of the permanent orders regarding father’s foreign travel restrictions was reversed and the case was remanded for reconsideration.

Official Colorado Court of Appeals proceedings can be found at the Colorado Court of Appeals website.

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