The most common kind of child abduction is parental child abduction and often occurs when the parents separate or commence divorce proceedings.
In such circumstances a parent decides to take the law into their own hands and take their children to live with them without the permission of the other parent or the courts.
Abducting a child is a criminal as well as a civil offence although the criminal law is rarely invoked and it is left to the parent who has lost the child to use the civil courts to ensure the child is returned.
A parent whose child has been abducted must realise that time is running against them. If the child/children have been recently abducted then the courts are likely to work to restore the status quo and return the child home as soon as possible.
The family team at Silverman Sherliker is here to assist and able to provide urgent advice in such situations.
To date, 69 countries, including the UK are signatories to either, or both, the Hague and/or European Conventions.
The Hague Convention and European Convention became law in the UK in 1985.
The two-fold purpose of each of these Conventions is to secure the immediate return of a child to his or her country of habitual residence and to ensure that international disputes over access are dealt with by the country of origin.
How long it will take to deal with the application for return depends on the country concerned, the individual circumstances of the case and indeed whether the child can be traced. The average length of time is about 5-6 months.