What do I do if I have been accused of Child Abduction?
If you have brought a child to England (or stayed here beyond an agreed period) then the other parent may accuse you of Child Abduction.
Where it is alleged that a child has been abducted, it is likely that Solicitors in England will be instructed to make an urgent application to the High Court for the child to be returned to the country they are from.
You will either be contacted by the other parent’s Solicitors and notified that they intend to start Child Abduction proceedings or, in some circumstances, you will be visited by the Police who will have an Order permitting them to remove passports or other travel documents for you and the child(ren).
Once your travel documents have been taken, you will likely be served with further Court papers within 24 hours requiring you to attend the High Court in London within a 7 day period.
It is essential that you seek advice from a specialist Solicitor straight away for advice in relation to the alleged Child Abduction.
Am I entitled to Legal Aid for Child Abduction Court proceedings?
Applicants (or “left behind”) parents are automatically entitled to non-means, non-merits tested Legal Aid.
Respondents (the person accused of Child Abduction) is only entitled to Legal Aid on a means tested basis. Gov.uk have created a form to find out whether you are entitled.
Katie Taft is a highly experienced Solicitor in Child Abduction matters representing both Applicants and Respondents. She is a member of the International Child Abduction and Contact Unit specialist panel, she is listed with the charity Reunite, and is a founding member of the Child Abduction Lawyers Association.
If you require advice on child abduction matters please do not hesitate to call us here at Ellis Jones.Telephone Katie Taft directly on 01202 057797 or e-mail her on firstname.lastname@example.org