Child Abduction Solicitors
Removing a child from a parent’s care and taking them to another country without the other parent’s consent could be considered a criminal offence, regardless of whether that person is a family member or not.
If your child has been abducted or is at risk of abduction, you need urgent expert legal advice from a specialist child abduction solicitor.
What is child abduction?
People often think child abduction and kidnapping are the same, however, this is not the case. Child abduction normally happens when a parent takes a child without the other parent’s agreement. This can be taking the child into their home, on holiday or even relocating with them.
Child abduction is serious and must be acted upon immediately. The first step should be to contact the police and thereafter, a solicitor specialising in child abduction can help you to secure the safe return of your child and put measures in place to ensure this cannot happen again.
Our child abduction expertise
Our experienced child abduction lawyers can help you if:
- Your child has been taken from your care without your permission
- Your child’s other parent wishes to take the child abroad without your consent
- You are worried that your child is at risk of being abducted by their other parent
- You want to relocate with your child to another country
- You want to stop the other parent from moving abroad with your child
The law relating to child abduction is complex and matters often develop quickly. That’s why it’s important to act fast and seek specialist legal advice.
The steps our abduction lawyers take will depend on a number of factors, such as where the child has been taken and whether their other parent has parental responsibility or a Child Arrangements Order (formerly known as a Residence Order), and whether there are any other orders relating to the child or children in question.
Our specialist solicitors can also refer you to organisations that provide help and support to families dealing with child abduction. We can also advise you on what steps should be taken in cases concerning international child abduction.
You may be eligible for legal aid to fund your case. If not, your solicitor will be able to discuss funding options with you in more detail during an initial meeting.
Child abduction FAQs
Under the Child Abduction Act 1984, it is a criminal offence if a child under the age of 16 is taken out of the UK without the appropriate consent. Consent can be provided by one of the following:
- The child’s parent (whoever has parental responsibility)
- The child’s guardian or special guardian
- A local authority
- A court order
If a person has a Child Arrangements Order for a child to live with them, or a Special Guardianship Order, then in some cases consent of the other parent to take the child abroad is not required. However, this is a complex area of law and you should seek specialist legal advice in order to find out if the removal from the UK is lawful or not.
Emotions will be running high, however, it’s vital that you act immediately. Your first step should be to contact the police and explain that your child has been (or is about to be) abducted without your permission. They will take details from you about your child’s appearance so that they can alert the relevant local authorities.
After you have filed the report to the police, get in touch with a specialist child abduction solicitor. They will be able to take the necessary steps with the court to secure the safe return of your child.
If your partner has not yet taken your child from you, but is planning or threatening to, our child abduction solicitors will support you throughout the process of applying for a Prohibited Steps Order to prevent them from being taken.
Contact our child abduction solicitors in Bristol
Any matter relating to child abduction requires prompt action and support from experienced child law solicitors. Our solicitors help families across the UK from our offices in Bedminster, Bishopston, Kingswood, Queen Square and Thornbury.