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Child abduction, relocation and disputes

Child abduction

Miles & Partners is one of only a few firms of solicitors specialising in child abduction cases and we are members of the International Child Abduction and Contact Unit’s panel of specialist solicitors. We are also on the Reunite ( list of approved firms.  Our specialist solicitors are renowned for their expertise and professionalism and regularly act in high profile child abduction cases.

Several international agreements are in place relating to international child abduction, including the Hague Convention. These agreements are designed to enable the swift return of abducted children. The Hague Convention states that courts in the country to which a child is taken in breach of the left behind parent’s rights of custody must, subject to a few limited defences, return the child to the country where he or she has been habitually resident. Even if a child has been taken to a country that is not part of any international agreement about child abduction we may still be able to assist you.

We have represented clients from all jurisdictions including the Middle East, Asia, Australasia, the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Africa and Europe.

We can help you

Our solicitors can advise you if:

  • your child has been brought to England and Wales, or retained in England and Wales without your consent;
  • your child is at risk of or has been taken to another country or retained in another country without your consent;
  • you have brought your child to, or retained your child in, England and Wales without consent and the other parent seeks the child’s return (see our dedicated page on facing abduction proceedings).

We can offer full representation to final hearing in child abduction matters, including action to enforce any order for the return of a child.

If you live outside of England and Wales

If you live outside of England and Wales and your child has been brought here, we can make an application for their return. We can apply for urgent, immediate court orders so the police can locate your child and seize passports to prevent abduction to a third jurisdiction. If necessary, we can also obtain orders that your children be looked after safely by Social Services whilst your application is being considered.

If you live in England or Wales

If you live in England or Wales and your child has been taken to another jurisdiction, we can assist you in making applications to foreign courts for the return of your child to the UK via the English Central Authority or, in certain cases, make an application to the English High Court to aid their return.

If a child is at risk of being or has been abducted

If you have reason to believe one or more of your children may be in immediate danger of being abducted by their other parent, contact us now. We can take immediate measures to prohibit the removal of your child from England and Wales.

If your child has been abducted from the UK, or brought here from another country, contact us immediately. Do not indicate to the other parent that you are taking legal advice as to do so may cause the other parent to flee to a third jurisdiction. Also take care when communicating with the other parent to ensure that nothing can be used against you to indicate your consent. We will advise you quickly and expertly to ensure the best possible outcome for you and your child.

Funding for legal advice or representation

Legal aid funding is available to any parent whose child has been brought to England or Wales from a country that is a member of The Hague Convention on the civil aspects of international child abduction or The European Convention on the recognition and enforcement of custody decisions.

Legal aid may also available to left-behind parents in countries that are not signatories to any of the international agreements regarding child abduction.

Once we understand your circumstances, we will advise what funding might be available and discuss which payment options might work best for you.


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