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Children abducted by a parent

For most parents or guardians, child abduction is the unthinkable that they do not have to contend with. But, for those that it has happened to, it is a terrible situation that they have to deal with, requiring the utmost sensitivity at a very delicate time.
Child abduction is when a parent, relative or someone acting for them takes, keeps or hides a child under the age of 16 without the permission of the other parent, who has joint or sole custody.
Statistics suggest that, in the UK, there has been a 50% increase in cases of child abduction in 10 years. And, contrary to popular belief, almost 70% of abductions are made by the mother, not the father.
If a relationship breaks down, one partner may feel they have no option other than to abduct their children and take them elsewhere, either in the UK or abroad. This is a criminal offence, and depending on which country your child has been taken, it could be very difficult to get them back.
Some countries have signed the Hague Convention which means these countries are committed to helping parents of abducted children get them back. However, if your child has been taken to a country that has not signed the Hague Convention, then you will need to apply for custody and permission to bring your child home through the courts in that country, which can be problematic.
The intricacies of international law means that, some cases of child abduction can take a while to resolve, which is why it is important to speak to a family lawyer who can give you the specialist advice you need all through this sensitive process.

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