Child abduction is a very traumatic experience. There are legal procedures in place to ensure that the children are returned to their country of residence, but how long it will take will depend on the country concerned, the circumstances of the case and indeed whether the child can be traced.
It is important to establish as soon as possible what your parental rights are under the local law of the country to which your child has been taken. You should obtain urgent legal advice about the laws and practice for the country concerned and the position regarding legal aid for legal costs.
The United Kingdom is signatory to the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction which came into force under domestic legislation through the Child Abduction and Custody Act 1985. Brussels II Revised Regulation came into effect at the end of 2003 and addresses cases arising under the Hague Convention where member States of the European Community are involved.
Under the Convention, if your child is “abducted” by the non-resident parent into one of 64 countries who have signed the Convention, these countries have an acknowledged framework within which to operate in order to assist in the safe return of the child to its custodial parent.
For help and support on how to get your child back, please call us to speak to one of our child abduction experts.