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

The following Family practice 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

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. This Practice Note sets out the principles applied in relation to the enforcement of non-Hague convention cases of child abduction, including wardship, together with practice and procedure.

In some cases, consideration may need to be given to the impact of the withdrawal of the UK from the EU (Brexit). 11pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020 marked the end of the Brexit transition/implementation period entered into following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. At this point in time (referred to in UK law as ‘IP completion day’), key transitional arrangements come to an end and significant changes begin to take effect across the UK’s legal regime. See Practice Notes: Child abduction—introduction and issuing proceedings (1980 Hague Convention)—Implications of Brexit, Brexit and family law, What does IP completion day mean for family law?, Brexit—jurisdiction and family proceedings and Brexit—children proceedings.

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

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