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Child Abduction

Our team has some of the very few accredited child abduction specialists outside of London.

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Child abduction is the unlawful removal or retention of a child (under 16 years old) from the jurisdiction in which they normally reside without the permission of everyone with parental responsibility or an order of the court — even if just for a short holiday. Child abduction is a criminal offence. 

There are many practical and legal steps that can be taken to try and prevent a child being removed from the UK as well as court orders that can be obtained. Applications are often urgent and sometimes without notice to the other party. It can be very important to obtain court orders to secure a child’s place in the jurisdiction and prevent further difficulties or the need for proceedings in another country.

Our expert family law team has some of the very few accredited specialists in the area of child abduction outside of London and is available to support and advise you in these difficult situations.

Expert advice

It’s essential that expert advice is sought at the earliest opportunity where there has been — or where there is potential for there to be — child abduction, because important tactical decisions and procedural steps often need to be taken.  

If your child is abducted, it's important to take legal action quickly to avoid any potential difficulties in proceedings or delay the child being returned.

Similarly, if you have brought a child to the jurisdiction and are served with court papers in relation to abduction, it’s important to engage in those proceedings and obtain specialist advice urgently to ensure that your case is approached appropriately. 

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How the courts will proceed

The approach that will be taken by the court will depend on the country that the child has been taken to or retained in. In most cases, there will be proceedings in that country to return a child back to the jurisdiction that they usually reside in. In some circumstances, it may be appropriate for proceedings to be brought in the UK if a child has been taken to another jurisdiction.

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