There are two different types of child abduction, the criminal act of a child being removed from their parent’s care but there is also parental child abduction.
Parental Child abduction does not necessarily mean removing the child from the United Kingdom it can be within the same town or county; it does not necessarily have to be by a parent it could be on a parent’s behalf. Parental Child Abduction is the removal of a child from a parent with care without their consent i.e. failing to return a child following contact.
This most commonly occurs when relationships first break down and this could be as a result of fear of not being able to see the child in the future or to gain an advantage in any pending proceedings. There are many reasons why it may occur but it is not the appropriate action to be taken and causes distress for all parties involved, including the child.
If you feel that any of the above apply it is important that you obtain urgent legal assistance is sought if you believe that your child has been removed from your care without your consent.
Legal Aid may be available in relation to cases involving Parental Child Abduction.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why is it important to act quickly ?
A: If you leave your child where they are the Court will consider that there has been a change in the main carer and therefore it is important that you contact your solicitor urgently.
Q: Should I call the police?
A: If there is an Order in place that the child should be in your care then you should ring the police, bear in mind that you must allow a reasonable amount of time if the other party is late in returning the child from contact. If there is not an Order in place you should ring the police but they are unlikely to be able to return the child to your care but will confirm that they are safe and well on your behalf.