Child Arrangements

International Child Contact

International Child Contact

International Child Contact cases involve a situation where a child is living in a different country to one of their parents.

If you are living abroad and your child is resident in England and Wales, and you wish to establish or secure contact with them, then you may make an application to the Court for a Child Arrangements Order to secure time with them.  

International contact arrangements can include:

  • Indirect contact (e.g. letters, cards, gifts, telephone calls, video calls)
  • Direct contact in England (requiring the non-resident parent to travel to visit the child in this country)
  • Direct contact abroad (enabling the child to travel abroad to spend time with their non-resident parent)

There are laws which prevent a child from being taken across an international border without the consent of all those with Parental Responsibility (usually both parents) or a court order. This is considered a crime under both UK and international law.

International Child Contact cases can be complex and require consideration of many logistical issues, including aspects of cross-border travel and immigration.

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 Contact 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 child contact cases into England and Wales. We can represent parents who live abroad in a Hague Convention Country, who wish to establish contact with their child in the UK, as well as respondent parents who live with their children in England and Wales and wish to may either oppose the proposed contact, or otherwise ensure that necessary safeguards are in place to facilitate the contact safely.   

We recognise the importance of fostering a healthy and nurturing environment for children, where both parents can actively participate in their upbringing. We are committed to guiding and advising you on the most suitable strategies to achieve fair and workable child arrangements.

Our experienced Child Law team will ensure that your voice, opinions, and the perspectives of your children are not only heard but also valued throughout the process. Your interests and the best interests of your children are important to us, and we will work alongside you to achieve a resolution that promotes their welfare and happiness.

While our primary aim is to help parents reach amicable solutions, we understand that in some cases, certain disputes may require legal resolution through the court system. In such instances, our skilled team will provide you with expert representation and guidance. We are committed to supporting you every step of the way, whether through alternative dispute resolution methods or through the court.

We can:

  • Help you obtain court orders to locate a child whose whereabouts are hidden or unknown.
  • Seek court orders to secure or enforce contact arrangements.
  • Negotiate contact proposals.
  • Represent you in court proceedings related to international child contact cases.

Reunite International is a UK charity that offers support and information on international child contact, including a mediation service which specialises in cross-border cases.

Legal Aid

If your child lives in England and Wales and you reside in a 1980 Hague Convention Country, then Legal Aid may be available to help you obtain representation in your international child case. Our team is here to answer your questions and provide guidance on your options for legal support.

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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