My former partner has abducted my child / children. What can I do?

18/02/2022

In the event your former partner has abducted your children, the following options are available to you:

  1. Apply for an Order that the children be returned to you immediately and not be removed without your written consent or order of the court. The court can attach a Penal Notice to this Order which means if the other parent fails to comply, they could be held in contempt of court and a fine, suspended prison sentence or actual prison sentence could be imposed on them.
  2. In the event you believe there is an imminent risk of your partner taking the child or children abroad, you can contact the Police and ask them to issue a Port Alert. A Port Alert, when issued, will notify all Police forces and Immigration Officers of the child’s details. The child is placed on the Child Abduction list for a period of 28 days initially.
  3. You can also contact Her Majesty’s Passport Office and ask them to prevent the issue of a passport in a child’s name. If your child’s other parent holds another nationality you can write to the relevant Embassy, High Commission or Consulate of the other country asking them not to issue a passport to your children. They do not have to agree to such a request, but they may do so.
  4. You can seek a Wardship Order from the Family Court. A Wardship Order basically makes the court a de-facto parent of the child. The court can make the child a ‘Ward of Court’. This means that the High Court have a duty to the children to ensure their safety and protection. It would also prevent the child from being illegally removed from the jurisdiction of the court i.e. England & Wales, without the court’s permission.
    If your children have been abducted and taken abroad, a Wardship Order can assist a government in attempts to secure the child’s return from whichever country they have been taken to.
18/02/2022
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For help and advice, talk to a member of our team. They can advise on the best options in your matter.

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