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What do I do if my child is taken by my ex-partner in lockdown?

We are in a very different time at the moment. A time of uncertainty, a time of worry and a time where everything we do is for protection. We are staying at home to protect ourselves and our loved ones and most of all our children. So if this is disrupted, understandably, panic sets in.

The courts have provided guidance to say that contact between children and their respective parents can go ahead so long as it is safe to do so. But what if your ex-partner does not return your child, or they turn up and take your child without your consent?

The first thing is to consider the risk to your child. Are there any immediate concerns with your child being your ex-partner and you worry that they will not be cared for properly? If yes, then the courts are still open and available to consider any emergency application to ensure your child is safe and is returned. You can apply to the courts for an emergency order which commences Children Act Proceedings. The courts are offering emergency hearings via telephone and so they can make decisions quickly. You can also make an urgent application to the court without your ex-partner being made aware of the application if there is any risk them being aware of what you plan to do. The police can also attend at your ex-partners property to complete a safe and wellbeing check.

The courts are prioritising children cases where there is a potential risk and so you are not alone.

If there are no immediate risks, but your ex-partner has not complied with the agreement or court order in place, then we can assist you with contacting them and seeking the child’s return.

We appreciate this can be an extremely difficult time for you and your family. This is why Brethertons offer more than just legal advice. We have a dedicated support service including our in house counsellor, Elizabeth Headley. Liz is a trained counsellor and is offering emotional support and advice via telephone to you as a customer of Brethertons to help you personally during this difficult time. She has also written a number of blogs which can be accessed on our website.

Brethertons are open and here to support you. We are here to discuss your matter and guide you through the best options for you to protect you and your child.

Our professional and supportive family team are available to help you and guide through the process. Please contact ourselves for any advice you seek and we will discuss your personal situation with you. We also offer legal aid and can discuss the availability of this with you. Please contact our dedicated Children and Domestic Violence Team on 01295 270999.