Child Abduction

Child abduction

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Child Abduction

The incidence of international child abduction continues to grow and can have a devastating effect on the child and left-behind parent.

What is child abduction?

Child abduction is when a child under the age of 16 is removed or retained from the jurisdiction of England and Wales without either the consent of all those with parental responsibility for the child, or permission from the court. It is a criminal offence that brings serious legal consequences.

How can we help?

Our team of specialist children lawyers can advise you in cases where either a child abduction has occurred, or a risk of child abduction has been identified.

We act for parents in relation to the full spectrum of child abduction matters and deal with cases surrounding international child abduction and abduction within the UK.

We can provide legal advice in any of the below circumstances:

  • Your child is at risk of abduction;
  • Your child has been abducted;
  • You have been accused of child abduction;
  • You wish to relocate with your child;
  • You wish to establish contact with your child who is based overseas.

We have the expertise required to swiftly resolve your matter, ensuring that the welfare of your child is prioritised throughout the process.

We fully recognise that these matters can cause a huge amount of stress for those parents involved and we will ensure your case is handled with the upmost sensitivity.

The Law

This area of law is governed by several international conventions.

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction 1980 is in force between England and a number of other countries. The principal objective of the Convention is to protect children from the harmful effects of abduction by providing a procedure designed to bring about the immediate return of a child to the country of their habitual residence (i.e., where they usually live).

As a result of Brexit, the 1996 Hague Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Cooperation in Respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children, will have an increased significance in the UK. The 1996 Hague Convention is in force in all EU Member States.  This sets out that the country of the child’s habitual residence will have jurisdiction to take measures to protect that child and/or their property.

Next steps

In cases of actual or potential child abduction, it is often necessary to take immediate legal action. Please contact a member of our specialist team as soon as these circumstances arise, so that we can provide you with the urgent legal advice required. Gemma Garrett and Rosa Schofield are our child abduction experts.

We’re here to guide and support you.

Let's start with a call, there's no obligation, and our expert team can advise and guide you from the beginning.

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