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International Child Abduction

Child abduction can occur in a number of scenarios and often as a consequence of a family breakdown.  It is particularly pervasive where a couple have settled in one parent’s home country but, post separation, the other parent wishes to return to their own home state and the other parent does not consent to that relocation.  Ordinarily that parent should make an application under the Children Act 1989 to relocate with the children.  However, all too frequently these legal requirements are disregarded and one parent simply flees with the children, leaving the other parent behind.  Conversely, a parent living in a family unit overseas may wish to return to England following a relationship breakdown.

"Payne Hicks Beach are arguably the strongest family law firm in the country, providing enviable strength and depth in both financial and private children law areas” Chambers UK

If you are concerned that your children may be at risk of abduction there are a number of ways in which we can help.  It is possible to make applications to the court to prohibit the other parent from removing the children from England.  Such orders can be backed up by orders requiring the children’s passports to be held securely by a solicitor.  It may be possible to secure a Port Alert putting airports and ports on notice that a parent should not be removing the children from this jurisdiction.

In the event that a child has been abducted from England and Wales there are a number of International Conventions that can be utilised to secure the return of the child and the countries that are signatories have agreed to reciprocally work together to deal with such cases.  In the event that a child has been abducted to a country that is not a signatory to one of these Conventions then the English Courts still have the power to make orders in respect of abducted children to secure their return under the inherent jurisdiction.

Child Abduction work requires specialist knowledge.  Our dedicated team of lawyers have a wealth of experience in abduction work representing client’s from many jurisdictions including Dubai, Malaysia, the United States and Europe.  Sarah Williams and Nick Manners are members of Careful Child Relocation. Sarah is also a member of The Child Abduction Lawyers Association (CALA). We are able to assist you in a number of scenarios:-

1.  If you believe that your child may be at risk of being taken to another country;

2. If your child has in fact been removed from England and taken to another country without your consent;

3. If you live overseas and your child has been brought to England and Wales without your permission;

4. If your child has been brought to England and Wales for a legitimate purpose, for example to visit relatives or on holiday, but at the end of the agreed visit the other parent has retained the child and is refusing to return them; or

5. If you have brought your child to or retained your child in England and Wales without the consent of your partner and the other parent is seeking the return of the child.

"The best legal team money can buy. Unbelievably thorough, first-class litigators, highly respected in the field. Supremely well connected internationally and ideally placed to help in cases involving multi-jurisdictional issues" THE LEGAL 500 UK