Child Arrangements

International Child Abduction

International Child Abduction occurs when a child is taken across an international border without the consent of those with Parental Responsibility (usually the other parent) or a court order. This is considered a crime under both UK and international law. 

International Child Abduction cases are highly complex and must be swiftly dealt with, making it crucial that you seek expert legal help if your child has been abducted, or you suspect that they may be at risk of abduction.  

Our lawyers can provide the guidance and support you need to navigate the legal process and protect your child’s best interests. 

Trusted Expertise in International Child Abduction Cases 

Walker Family Law is one of the few legal practices in the Southwest that are authorised to receive referrals from the International Child Abduction and Contact Unit (ICACU) in incoming abduction cases into England and Wales. We can represent both the “left behind parents” whose children have been abducted to England from a Hague Convention Country, as well as respondent parents who have brought their children to England and wish to oppose a return to the originating country. 

We can: 

  • Help you obtain court orders to locate a child whose whereabouts are hidden or unknown. 
  • Seek court orders to prevent onward abduction. 
  • Assist with the return of children to their country of habitual residence. 
  • Represent you in court proceedings related to international child abduction cases. 

Outward Child Abduction to a Hague Convention Country

If your child has been taken from England to a Hague Convention Country, we can assist you with the available options. The first is to contact the International Child Abduction and Contact Unit (ICACU) to liaise with the central authority of the other Country for legal applications under the 1980 Hague Convention. Another option is to apply for an order requiring the child’s return to England through the Court, which may be enforceable in the other Country if they are signatory to the Hague Convention. 

Reunite International is a UK charity that offers support and information on international child abduction.

Outward Abduction to a non-Hague Convention Country

If a child is abducted or suspected to have been taken to a non-Hague Convention Country, tracing and returning them is much more complex since there may be very little international protocol to assist. 

If you are in this situation, it is vital that you contact us as soon as possible. We can guide you through your available options. 

Child Arrangements services

Child arrangements can be one of the most challenging aspects of a divorce or a separation, our expert team of lawyers will help you navigate the process with clarity and confidence.

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