Child abduction—enforcement (non-Hague Convention cases)
Child abduction—enforcement (non-Hague Convention cases)

The following Family guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Child abduction—enforcement (non-Hague Convention cases)
  • Retention after temporary removal
  • Implementation and enforcement
  • The Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • Bilateral agreements

This Practice Note is impacted by the exit of the UK from the EU on 31 January 2020. This has implications for practitioners, inter alia, when considering which courts have jurisdiction to determine a dispute. For guidance, see Practice Note: Brexit—children proceedings. This Practice Note sets out the current position on enforcement of non-Hague convention cases of child abduction.

The requirement to take enforcement steps to secure the return of a child from a non-Hague Convention country may arise either where the removal has been unexpected and without warning, or following an agreement or an order for a temporary removal. See Practice Note: Child abduction—wardship and inherent jurisdiction (non-Hague Convention) as to the principles applied in non-Hague Convention cases and procedural considerations.

Retention after temporary removal

When an application is made to temporarily remove a child to a non-Hague Convention country, the overriding consideration for the court will be whether the making of that order would be in the best interests of the child. Careful consideration will be given to the risk of a breach of the order, ie that the child may not be returned. Such an application will routinely involve the court in investigating what safeguards can be put in place to minimise the risk of retention and to secure the child’s return if that transpires. Such safeguards should