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Hunters Law

International child abduction

When someone moves a child to another country without the consent of a parent or legal guardian that could be international child abduction. That might also be the case if they keep a child abroad after an agreed trip, like a holiday. If you believe an international child abduction has taken place, time is of the essence. It’s essential you have advice right away from a specialist in cross-border children’s cases, and that they can act quickly.

For us, it’s equally important to look after the people involved. These cases are very hard on parents, who are understandably overwhelmed by the process, unsure of their options, and worried about their children’s future. With such a complex and changing area of law, they need a sensitive and reliable guide.

Much of our work centres on the 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention. It’s an international treaty and legal framework for returning children who’ve been moved across international borders. It’s important to note there are exceptions that the parent who has taken the child can use to defend their actions – including proof of the other parent’s consent or a risk of harm to the child if they were returned.

Some countries aren’t part of the Hague Child Abduction Convention. In those cases there are still circumstances where the courts in England and Wales can act. That could include wardship proceedings, where the High Court becomes the child’s legal guardian and can act to protect them.