Child Abduction

Child abduction is the unauthorised removal or retention of a minor from a parent or anyone with legal responsibility for the child.

The Child Abduction Act 1984 makes it a criminal offence for anyone connected with a child under the age of 16 to take that child out of the UK without the appropriate consent. ‘Connected with’ includes parents, guardians or a person with a residence order or custody of the child. ‘Appropriate consent’ is the consent of the mother, the father (if he has parental responsibility), the guardian or anyone with a residence order, parental responsibility or the leave (permission) of the court.

If your child has been abducted already or you are worried that they may be ‒ either internationally or in the UK ‒ our experienced family law team can give you practical advice immediately and help guide you through the many UK and international legal processes. Alternatively, if you seek to permanently remove your children from the UK, our experienced lawyers, Debbie Smith and Catriona Allan are able to help you to prepare an application.

Contact our experienced lawyers for legal advice about child abduction.