Sometimes parents may disagree with where a child should live. That can be difficult in circumstances where both parents live in the same country, however it can become ever more complex when the parents either do live or want to live in a different country
If a parent wishes to take a child on holiday, then it is best to get the consent of the other parent. If they do not agree, then an Order of the Court could be sought which will authorise the trip. If a parent does not have either consent from the other parent or an Order from the Court, then it could be seen as child abduction by the Court.
The UK has signed up to an international treaty, referred to as The Hague Convention. This is an agreement between countries to return children as soon as possible to the country from which they have been taken. At the present time there are over 90 countries who are members of the Hague Convention.
Proceedings brought under the Hague Convention are normally dealt with by the High Court. The proceedings are usually quick as they are designed to consider whether a child should be returned to the country from which they have been taken. As a starting point, it is set out that a child should be returned. However defences and arguments against this are available to the proceedings. We would be happy to discuss these with you.
Contact us as soon as possible if:
- You have been served with papers from the High Court or referring to the Hague Convention then please contact us as soon as possible; or
- You are concerned that your child is at risk of abduction. There are applications that can be brought before the Court urgently in these circumstances
We will act quickly and can offer emergency meetings. Given the speed and complexity or proceedings, it is important that you contact us urgently.
We are one of only a few firms within Central England listed with Reunite International.
Is Legal Aid available?
Legal Aid is available for this type of work and we are able to see and assist you in making an application for legal aid. That is subject to a means test (where we have to consider your income and certain outgoings that you may have) and a merits test (where we have to consider the likelihood of whether you will be successful).
Given the speed of the proceedings, we are able to offer emergency legal aid funding for these proceedings. Again, please do contact us and we will be able to discuss this with you further.
If you do not qualify for legal aid funding then we will provide you with a clear estimate of costs from the outset.