The Child Abduction Act 1985 makes it a criminal offence for your ex to take any of your children under the age of 16 out of this jurisdiction without your or the court’s permission. Child abduction is a serious criminal offence that can have serious legal repercussions. Whilst child abduction is a criminal offence in England, it is not a criminal offence in all countries.
If you suspect that your child has or is going to be abducted, it is natural to panic. However, the faster you act the more likely you are to achieve the swift return of your children, or more importantly, to prevent the child leaving this jurisdiction in the first place. As an international family law firm, we are used to dealing with people who are under a great deal of emotional stress, as well as time pressure. Our lawyers will be able to advise you on the quickest, calmest and most effective way to reunite you with your children. If your ex has abducted your child to a country that is a signatory to the Hague Convention 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, you will be able to make an urgent application in that country for them to be returned to England immediately. You can also apply to the English High Court for an order that your child is made a Ward of the Court, and through that, for orders that your child is returned to England and Wales.
Conversely, if your child has been abducted to England by your ex from a country that is a signatory to the Hague Convention 1980, you can apply to the English High Court for an order that they are immediately returned home.
Whilst there are perfectly innocent reasons why your ex might not yet have returned with your children from Britain, it could also be a real cause for concern. In the first instance, it will be necessary to contact your ex, the hotel or the last place they were known to be and any family or friends who might know of their whereabouts.
If you have any reason to suspect that your ex has abducted your children it will be important to take immediate action. Child abduction cases are extremely time sensitive and the faster you act the more likely you are to ensure your children’s swift return.
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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.
Vardags is one of the UK’s leading divorce law firms. We specialise in complex, high net worth and international cases. The Legal 500 has said of Vardags: “The team is noted for its sheer intellect”
Vardags is among the leading family law firms in the UK. Our solicitors specialise in complex cases for high net worth individuals, including international child relocation, child abduction, and prenuptial agreements. The Legal 500 has said that "clients feel in totally safe hands" with Vardags' Children & Family lawyers.
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Our criminal defence team is led by top criminal defence lawyer Rob Conway. Vardags is a successful and rapidly-growing law firm with an outstanding reputation for winning cases.
Vardags is a top property law firm with expertise in complex and high-value cases. We pride ourselves on our discrete and thorough approach and premium client experience. Our team is led by the highly respected and renowned property lawyer James Bunker.
Vardags is a top law firm with a trailblazing fertility and surrogacy department. We have had success with some of the most groundbreaking cases of the last decade in the High Court, Court of Appeal, and Supreme Court, with rulings that have changed the law. Vardags remains at the cutting edge of fertility law, pushing for further improvement of the outdated legislation in place in Britain.
Vardags’ civil litigation team is renowned for its nous and its consistent ability to deliver results.
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Vardags' wills and trusts team has the specific expertise to cater to the wills and trusts needs of high-net-worth and high-profile individuals. Richard Todd QC, Leading Counsel for Yasmin Prest said of Vardags: “a note to acknowledge your firm’s pivotal role in achieving such an outstanding result in the recent Supreme Court case of Petrodel v Prest”.