Child Abduction Lawyers

If a child is removed from your care and kept without your permission this can be unlawful and requires urgent action. If you are concerned that your child has been (or may be) taken abroad or has been brought to England or Wales without your permission, then you need urgent assistance from a specialist Family Law solicitor.

Child abduction is a highly specialist area within Family Law. It is important that anybody affected by child abduction seeks urgent advice from a specialist Family Law solicitor who will be up to date with this complex, fast-evolving and niche area of law.

The specialist Family Law solicitors at Hodge Jones & Allen have extensive experience in representing parents whose children have been taken without their permission to another country, including those countries which are signatories to the Hague Convention and those countries which are not. They work closely with other professionals in the other country to make sure that matters are handled swiftly to ensure the quick and safe return of the children. Contact our experts today

Our specialist Family Law solicitors can advise you on what to do in the case of an actual or potential child abduction.

We can assist with

  • Applying for a court Order to prevent a child from being taken abroad
  • Applying for a court Order to prevent a passport from being issued
  • Alerting the authorities in the UK and abroad
  • Negotiating with foreign law enforcement bodies

What does the law say?

When a child has been abducted, there are several ways that the law can ensure that they are returned. This is dependent however on the case and the country to which the child has been taken.

  • If a child has been taken within England & Wales, the English courts can be asked to help trace and/or recover them.
  • If a child has been taken to or kept in a country that has signed up to The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction 1980 (known as the “Hague Convention”) then the legal process can be more complex. The Hague Convention deals with children who are wrongfully removed from one jurisdiction to another or who are retained outside the country of their habitual residence. The Hague Convention sets out the law and procedure that should be followed to ensure the immediate return of a child to the jurisdiction of their habitual residence.
  • If a child is taken out of England & Wales to a country that has not signed the Hague Convention, there may be an agreement with the other country about returning the child. In these circumstances, our specialist Family Law solicitors can assist in wardship proceedings, which means that the court will assume parental authority for the child. This can help persuade the authorities/courts to return the child to the UK.

Case Study: Mother moved to Morocco without permission of her son’s father

We acted for a father who resided in the Netherlands. The mother removed their son to Morocco without the father’s permission. She then took him to England a few years later on holiday. The father issued an application for a location Order and a port alert was put in place. The mother was stopped from boarding a plane back to Morocco. The father issued an application under the Hague Convention for the return of the child. The mother relied on defences of grave risk of harm, acquiescence, and settlement.

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    Our offices are open from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 6 pm.

    Phone:0808 231 6369
    Fax:020 7388 2106
    Address:Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors
    180 North Gower Street
    NW1 2NB