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Simon Craddock

Partner and Head of Family Banbury


International Child Abduction Solicitors - Banbury, Oxfordshire

With international travel being much more accessible and opportunities to live and work abroad more plentiful, families are now more internationally diverse. 

When separated parents want to live in different countries following separation, parents often find it hard to agree where their children should live.

Generally, although not always, if one parent wants to take a child abroad to live or even for a holiday permission is required from the other parent. If that permission is not given, then an Order of the Court allowing the child to go abroad is needed. If a parent removes a child without either the other parent’s consent or permission from the Court, this is known as Child Abduction. 

The Hague Convention

A number of countries, including England, have signed up to a treaty called the Hague Convention. The Hague Convention aims to return children to the country they have been taken from as quickly as possible. There are limited circumstances where the Court may refuse to return a child to their original country.

When a child is abducted or kidnapped against the wishes of the other parent, the parent who has lost the child may feel desperate about the safety of the child and helpless to influence the outcome. Often the left behind parent may not speak the language of the country in which the child has been taken too, or may not even know the exact location of their child. Sometimes a parent has taken a child abroad not realising that they have broken any laws and are ‘abducting’ or ‘kidnapping’ their own child.

Legal proceeding and the Court

Legal proceedings are initiated quickly in these circumstances to help locate the child with a view to getting the child returned. The Court will decide whether or not the child should return to the country he/she was taken from. If the child is returned, the Court in that country will then decide the residence and contact arrangements for the child if the parents still cannot agree. 

There are also legal steps that can be initiated quickly if you believe there is a risk that your child may be removed from the country. There are safeguards the Court can put in place to prevent any abductions from happening.

We can help you in instances where you believe your child will be abducted overseas, or has already been taken. If you are a parent abroad and you believe your child has been brought to England, we can also help.

We will act quickly to ensure that your rights and those of the child are not abused. We will represent, support and advise you of the process and procedures involved in a caring and sensitive manner.

If you have concerns about your child being abducted or you have been served with Court proceedings, we are able to assist you quickly and can be contacted out of hours. Legal aid can be available in these cases but may be subject to financial eligibility.

Brethertons International Child Abduction Team

At Brethertons LLP, our specialist International Child Abduction Team have a wealth of experience in representing parents and children within Child Abduction proceedings. Our experienced solicitors within the Child Abduction Team hold specialist accreditations in the field of Child Abduction Law and Partner of the Department, Simon Craddock is ranked in the Legal 500 as an outstanding individual in this area and was quoted within the Legal 500 as a ‘leading light in the field of child abduction law’. The Child Abduction Team is also recognised within the Chambers and Partners Directory.

The Child Abduction Team at Brethertons LLP is one of only 46 firms in the UK currently listed on the International Child Abduction and Contact Units (ICACU) panel of specialists lawyers in this area. We are the only firm in Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire on this specialist panel. Brethertons LLP have been a member of the Panel since 2001. 

Brethertons LLP is also listed on Reunite’s specialist international lawyers listing.

We offer fluent speakers in the languages of French, Spanish, Italian, Urdu and Punjabi.

Please contact Simon Craddock, Gemma Kelsey or Kim Lehal if you require assistance with a child abduction case.


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