The BBC have today reported upon the rise in global family disputes including child abduction, relocation, inter-country adoption and forced marriages. The increase in cases which have an international element seems to have been caused by the ever increasing number of families who have connections outside the UK.
Cases whereby one parent wishes to leave the UK and settle in a foreign country with children following a divorce/failed relationship are not uncommon. Often, the situation arises because one parent wishes to return to their home country to be with family. However, the Child Abduction Act 1984 makes it a criminal offence for a parent to take a child out of the UK without the appropriate consent. It is therefore always important to obtain specialist legal advice before taking such steps. In certain cases, it may be necessary to seek the leave of the UK court before relocating.
At Pannone we have a team of solicitors who specialise in child abduction cases and those involving international family law issues. If you have any concerns with regard to these issues you should not hesitate to contact them to discuss matters further.
Where a child has already been taken outside of the UK an urgent application to the courts in the country to which the child has been taken will be required. The way in which this is done, and the law which applies, varies between countries. This is a complex area of law and specialist advice will needed.