International Child Abduction? What to do if your ex-spouse takes your child

You can be said to have abducted a child if you take a child overseas without seeking the permission of the other parent or any other individual with parental responsibility. Similarly, failing to bring a child back within England and Wales a specified period will be considered child abduction.

Previously, it was very common for people who had illegally moved a child overseas to be given exemption from prosecution however a growing number of people are facing criminal proceedings for child abduction. Indeed, child abduction is punishable by up to 7 years imprisonment making it a very serious offence.

International child abduction and the Hague Convention

If your child has been taken overseas without your permission, the first thing to establish is whether or not the country they have been moved to is a signatory of the Hague Convention or not. Countries which have signed the convention, of which there are 70, will leave any custody or contact investigations to the country from which the child last lived.

In cases where the abduction of retention of the child has taken place between EU member states, the Brussels II agreement as well as the Hague Convention will be applied. The Brussels II agreement was designed to deter child abduction and make it more likely that children would be returned to their original country.

Countries outside the EU have not reinforced the Hague Convention in quite the same way. In these countries, nothing can be done other than appeal if the courts do not ordeer the child to return home. The procedures will not differ from those of an EU state but the Central Authority will need to be contacted by the parent left behind whose action under the convention will then be free.

Cases in which the child ends up in a non-Hague country can be more complex. the courts in England will still try following the Hague process however expensive and time-consuming court action in the overseas jurisdiction may be required.

International child abduction – you must act quickly

If your child remains in England and Wales, but you think there is a realistic possibility that the child could be taken overseas without your consent by your ex-spouse, or indeed anybody else, then quick action is essential. Our team are able to quickly to get an emergency Court Orders to prevent your child being removed from England and Wales [and it is England and Wales, rather than the UK we are talking about here – Scotland and Northern Ireland have different legal systems and separate jurisdictions]

Our team can apply for Port Alerts to be issued to stop your child being taken overseas.

Speed is absolutely essential – so if you think your child could be taken overseas without your approval, don’t delay, get in touch with specialist child abduction solicitors today.

Looking for International Child Abduction Solicitors? Call us now

The abduction of your child is likely to cause enormous distress and it’s absolutely essential that you have solicitors on your side who specialise in complicated child abduction cases. Our team have the experience and know-how needed to help, you and your child, so call us on one of the following numbers now:

SALISBURY [01722] 422300

AMESBURY [01980] 622992

ANDOVER [01264] 364433                 

Email our team using the enquiry form below.

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