International child law solicitor, Grace Bradley, explains how Article 21 may help parents trying to navigate international child contract during the pandemic.
Separated parents and child contact during the pandemic has certainly been a perplexing time with different parts of the UK having different rules. If you also factor in living overseas, far away from your child and the challenges are even more consuming. The ever changing flight schedules, Covid-19 requirements in different countries and government guidance regarding travel and/or quarantine rules it can prove to be a real headache. Having legal advice is ever more crucial.
But what about the costs?
For some parents the issue of paying for legal advice is. Yet, a little known provision of the 1980 Hague Convention, better known for assisting in cases of child abduction, could help. If you live in a country which is a signatory state to the Convention, have children living in England and there are no court orders in place to regulate the arrangements then you may be able to get legal aid.
Article 21 of the Convention means that a parent, living abroad, can present to the English Central an application “ to make arrangements for organising or securing the effective exercise of rights of access”.
That application, if it meets the requirements of the English Central Authority, will be allocated to a specialist solicitor in England, who can apply for legal aid and, once in place, can start to work on your case. The legal aid is currently not based on your finances.
International child law specialists
At the Family Law Company we have specialist solicitors in International Family Law matters and members of the Ministry of Justice panel allocated cases by them. We act for parents abroad who want to spend time with their children in England and can assist in making your application to the English Central Authority and obtaining legal aid.
Grace Bradley is a Senior Associate Solicitor who works in both private children law and financial matters, and has a wealth of experience representing privately funded and legal aid clients in the UK and abroad. To discuss this issue how Article 21 may help your situation or any other family law issue please get in touch via email [email protected] or telephone 01392 421777