Child Abducted to the United Kingdom
The term ‘child abduction’ conjures up very different images for different people. But whilst it’s rare for children to be snatched off the street (or in other words – kidnapped), parental child abduction has become increasingly common.
In many cases, allegations of international child abduction stem from a simple misunderstanding. For example, if your child ordinarily lives in France and you bring them to the UK without the other parent’s permission, you could be accused of abducting them.
It may be that the visit is temporary (such as a holiday) or stems from a mistaken belief that their British citizenship entitles you to bring them to the UK.
But removing your child from their country of residence without a court order or parental consent means you may be committing an offence.
I’ve brought my child to the UK – what next?
If you’ve brought your child to the UK without consent (whether intentionally or not), speak to our specialist abduction lawyers to clarify your legal position. We’ll work with you to ensure your views are represented and your child’s interests are protected.
This is especially important if you intend to stay in the UK permanently with your child.
The Hague convention
An important factor in international child abduction cases is the country from which the child has been taken and brought to, particularly if both countries are part of the Hague Convention.
Both England and Wales have signed up to the Hague Convention, an agreement that aims to return abducted children to the country in which they normally live.
If you’ve taken your child out of a country which is part of the Hague Convention, the default action is to return them as quickly as possible so that issues regarding custody and contact can be decided by the court in that country, rather than in the UK.
However, it might be possible to reach an agreement with the other parent for your child to remain in the UK throughout proceedings.
Alternatively, we can argue that your child should remain in this country if they’re settled in their new environment or if they’re at risk of grave harm if they returned to their country of residence.
How we can help
Regardless of the circumstances, if you’ve brought your child to this country without consent, contact our family solicitors today. We understand the technicalities and potential pitfalls, and work with specialist barristers with vast experience in international child abduction law.