International Child Abduction Specialists
Child abduction may sound dramatic, but due to the increase in family breakdown and ease of travel, separated or divorced parents who take their children abroad may not realise that they have officially abducted their child.
Many divorced or separated parents fail to realise that they need the permission of the other parent, or the court, to move abroad, and without it they are not only contravening the other parents rights but may find themselves the subject of criminal proceedings.
The numbers of child abduction cases are rising as relationships between partners of different nationalities become more frequent. Many cases involve the ‘custodial’ parent, who believes that because they have custody for their child, they can do as they wish, ignoring the fact that the other parent has custody or access rights as international law terms them.
The media thrives on stories of parents who have taken their children abroad for a holiday and then not returned them – but they do little to show that it is the parent who has lost the child that has to struggle to use the civil courts to get the child back. This is a huge and difficult task, despite the fact that Britain has signed up to the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction and is a signatory to Brussels II Revised (this specifically governs such matters between Member States of the European Community), which both require that courts in the country to which a young person is taken must, with few exceptions, return the child.
Click here to download our free Child Abduction Fact Sheet.
Child abduction is an extremely complex area of the law. If your child has been abducted or you have reasons to believe your child is at risk of being abducted, you should seek immediate legal advice from a specialist solicitor.
At Hartnell Chanot & Partners we are on the International Child Abduction and Contact Unit solicitor referral list. Solicitors on this list have had to demonstrate that they have the resources and competencies required for this demanding work.