Locations we serve
Locations we serve
Locations we serve
Other Services
020 7404 9390
Available 24 hours

My ex is accusing me of abducting our children

If your ex has accused you of abducting your children to another country from England and Wales, there is a possibility that you could be prosecuted under the Child Abduction Act 1985. This is because it is a criminal offence to take any child who is under the age of 16 out of this jurisdiction without the consent of all people with parental responsibility or the permission of the court. This is a serious allegation and, if not dealt with promptly, you could experience severe penal repercussions.

Your ex may also bring civil proceedings against you for child abduction under the Hague Convention 1980, or under the Inherent Jurisdiction of the High Court in the alternative. There are a number of limited defences to international parental child abduction. However, if you have taken your children overseas for an extended period or you have decided to move abroad with them permanently without your exs consent you must take immediate steps to obtain consent from your ex or permission from the court for leave to remove your children from the jurisdiction. If you do not do so, you may be faced with a child abduction application, and if successful you will be required to immediately return the children to England and Wales.

Vardags family lawyers and in-house criminal defence experts are perfectly placed to advise you on any potential child abduction charge.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are named as the person that your children live with under a child arrangements order you may take your children abroad for up to 28 days without requiring permission from your ex or the court. Even if there is no child arrangement order in place and you have taken your children away on a short break, do not panic. The prompt return of your children to the jurisdiction should resolve matters.

If you have moved abroad with your children without your ex’s consent, you could be at risk of being accused of child abduction, which is both a criminal and civil offence. There are serious criminal proceedings that could involve you being extradited to be brought before the criminal court of England and Wales.

However, the seriousness of these consequences can be mitigated if you take swift action to contact your ex and resolve the situation. Whatever your reasons for taking your child abroad, the faster you act the less likely the situation will result in onerous orders against you.

The British High Court is obliged to return any children who are suspected of having been abducted. Child abduction is taken very seriously and can lead to criminal penalties as well as civil proceedings. If you are accused of abducting your children, it is vital that you seek specialist legal advice urgently.

OUR Children & Family TEAM

Caroline Korah

Partner - Head of Children Caroline Korah Vardags Partner Head of Children
“Caroline Korah is a highly dedicated lawyer who fearlessly represents her clients’ interest” 
Legal 500

Lucy Bolton

Partner - Divorce & Family Lucy Williams Vardags Partner Divorce & Family
“Lucy Williams is loved by clients and counsel” 
Legal 500

Jemima Kearney

Assistant Solicitor Jemima Kearney Graduate Trainee Solicitor

Is Vardags Right For You?

We offer a free consultation to qualifying individuals. Please call our confidential enquiry line on 020 7404 9390. Lines are staffed 24 hours.

When you contact us a member of our client relations team will take the full details of your situation, assess whether we can assist you, and if so, determine the best team for your case. 

This site uses cookies. Find out more. Use of this site is deemed as consent.   OK   CUSTOMISE