School holidays are underway. Airports are busy with families travelling to destinations around the globe. It is a time of excited anticipation and fun.
Devastatingly, for some families such trips can end in heartache if a child is not returned home.
What is Parental Child Abduction by Retention?
A couple may agree that one of them can take their children on holiday abroad without the other. That may be because they are visiting family or because work commitments don’t allow the other parent time to travel with the family.
On occasions during such a holiday, the parent who has travelled with the children may decide that they don’t want to return home. This can be because they are unhappy in the relationship with the other parent, or simply because they have realised how much they miss their home country and family.
If a parent fails to return the children to their usual home following an agreed holiday they may be committing parental child abduction.
Would it be Parental Child Abduction if I had My Partner’s Permission to Leave the Country?
If a parent wishes to travel out of the jurisdiction of England and Wales with their children they usually need the permission of the other parent. If that consent has been given for a three-week holiday it will not apply if the parent stays any longer. That parent may then be found to be retaining the children without the consent of the other parent. This could be child abduction.
What do I do if my Partner Fails to Return Home With Our Children?
It is crucial in cases of child abduction to act quickly. You should speak to a solicitor who specialises in cases of child abduction as a matter of urgency.
If you fail to act immediately then the other parent may argue that your inaction demonstrates agreement to them not returning with the children. Any delay could also make it harder to locate your children if the other parent goes into hiding.
The next steps you are advised to take will depend on the country in which your children have been retained. Certain countries have conventions and agreements in place that make it easier to secure your children’s return. If your children are in a country that has not signed any international child abduction conventions or agreements, the need to act quickly is even more crucial.
How Can we Help?
Slater and Gordon Lawyers have a team of solicitors who specialise in cases of international parental child abduction. Our expert Child Abduction Solicitors work closely with international lawyers and can ensure your case is progressed quickly to secure the best outcome.
You can call us any time 24/7 on freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online. We can provide you with immediate representation from one of our 18 UK offices.