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Child Abduction

Taking children abroad without permission

Child abduction is often carried out by a family member, usually a parent, who believes that it is the right thing to do - both for themselves and for the child.

It occurs when a child is either taken abroad without the permission of the other parent (or those who have rights of custody) or is kept abroad beyond the period for which permission has been given.

The primary law governing child abduction is the Hague Convention on the International Aspects of Child Abduction brought into force in England by the Child Abduction and Custody Act 1985.  It is a distinctive area of work even within international family law.

When child abduction has or may occur time is of the essence and speedy legal advice is vital.

We are recognised specialists in this area of law and act for parents whose children have been taken and for those who find themselves a party to child abduction proceedings.

We understand that these cases need to be handled in an especially sensitive, timely and proactive way.

Emergency Snatch Line

Telephone +44 (0) 7973 890648.

This number should only be used in an emergency to contact iFLG.


Meet the team

Our specialists are knowledgeable, friendly and experts in their own individual fields.




Please send us a message with your query. Alternatively, request a call back, if you would like us to call you. We will be in touch within 24 hours.



Child Abduction: the Court of Appeal on the Article 13(b) defence

On Tuesday 9August 2016 the Court of Appeal (comprised of Macur LJ, Beatson LJ and Sales LJ) handed down judgment in the case of Re M (Children) [2016] EWCA Civ 942. The first instance judgment of Russell J was reported at DM v KM [2016] EWHC 1282 (Fam).

iGuide: What is Child Abduction?

Find out more about Child Abduction in our iGuide.

iGuide: 1980 Hague Convention Countries

This iGuide details the countries in which the 1980 Hague Convention on the civil aspects of international child abduction is in force with the UK.

iGuide: 1996 Hague Convention

The Hague Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-operation in Respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Child was concluded on 19 October 1996 (“The 1996 Convention”).

iGuide: Inherent Jurisdiction

The Court’s inherent jurisdiction in relation to children and Wardship are powerful tools in the field of international Child Law. Find out more in this iGuide.

Brussels II child abduction: Trumping orders

Trumping orders are a valuable remedy when a court to which a child has been abducted within Europe refuses to make a return order. Here's our explanation...

Podcast: Minimise Risk of a Child Abduction

Ann Thomas speaks on what steps can be taken to minimise the risk of a child abduction.

The Family Law Show: Programme 2 - Child Abduction

Lucy Loizou and Mandeep Gill discuss what child abduction is and give information about what to do in the event that you are faced with this difficult situation

Podcast: Child Abduction

Ann Thomas speaks on child abduction. This is one of the most devastating things to occur to a child. Yet with many international families, it is  a occurring  much more frequently...

Attending Court – what you need to know

Advice and information on what to expect when you attend at court.

FAQ: Child Abduction

Frequently asked questions ­about Child Abduction