If a child is not returned to the parent with whom he lives at the agreed date and time and it is suspected that the other person is not intending to return the child then it is important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible.

If there is already a Residence Order (which determines with whom the child should live) in force, this usually contains a provision preventing the removal of the child from the UK without the consent of the parent with the Residence Order or the prior consent of the Court.  We are able to advise and assist you in relation to making urgent applications to the court  under the Children Act 1989 to enforce any Order that is already in existence and if no Order is already in force an urgent application for a Residence Order and a Prohibited Steps Order in order to prevent the removal of the child and/or secure their return.

We are also able to apply under the provisions of the Children Act 1989 and the Family Law Act 1986 for an Order for the child to be produced to the parent whom the child should normally live and also for orders for third parties to disclose any relevant information they may have as to the whereabouts of the children.

We will advise you as to the procedure and the relevant safeguards which can be taken in order to prevent a potential abductor from removing the child from the jurisdiction such as Prohibited Steps Orders, ‘port alerts’ or the surrender of passports.  Furthermore, the Child Abduction Act 1984 also makes it a criminal offence to remove a child without the appropriate consent

The Child Abduction and Custody Act 1985 brought the provisions of the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction into force in this country.  If a child is taken into a country which is a party to this convention it is possible to request the return of the child.  This is further supported by the European Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Custody Decisions which also provides that provided a country to which the child has been taken is part of the convention an order can be applied for the return of the child.

Failure or refusal to return the child to the United Kingdom once required to do so will constitute a wrongful retention of the child for the purposes of the Hague Convention and the Revised Brussels II Regulation.This is an international agreement which seeks to return abducted children to the country where they normally live so the courts of that country can decide on issues of custody and access. Central Authorities in the UK are responsible for all cases that come under the convention.  The Central authorities will handle all enquiries and processes in this matter.

We appreciate how stressful a time this is for you and for your family as a whole and will therefore meet with you and deal with your case quickly and efficiently.  We will assist you in liaising with the appropriate authorities and represent you in Court should the need arise.

For more information contact us…

0207 426 0382