There is a reported increase in the number of child abduction cases.
- Ease of international travel results in more international relationships.
- Reduction in cost of international travel.
- Increased reporting in the media. In the past a number of people may have been victims without the resources or knowledge to seek help. Social media helps bring matters to the public’s attention, quickly and cheaply.
If you are in an international relationship and you fear the risk of child abduction exists what can you do?
- Get legal advice immediately. This is one area of law where delay can be fatal to the future outcome.
- If your ex-partner lives in a country which is a signatory to the Hague Convention then an application to return the child to their country of residence is likely to succeed. This means that the courts local to the child’s home will decide where the child will live. However, speed is critical as there are a number of defences which include acquiescence and the child having a new established place of residence.
- If you suspect your child is about to be abducted, border alerts can be put in place and you can obtain the return of the child’s passport.
This is a highly complex area of law.
If you are the victim of child abduction it is likely that you will be eligible for free legal advice in England and Wales.
As in most things – prevention is better than cure, so seek advice as soon as you suspect your partner or ex-partner is contemplating abducting your child.