Child abduction—introduction and issuing proceedings (1980 Hague Convention)
Child abduction—introduction and issuing proceedings (1980 Hague Convention)

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

  • Child abduction—introduction and issuing proceedings (1980 Hague Convention)
  • Introduction
  • Implications of Brexit
  • Central authority
  • Public funding
  • Issuing an application
  • Child abduction mediation scheme

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance has been issued, including by the President of the Family Division, regarding all proceedings in the Family Court in England and Wales during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and until further notice, which profoundly affects normal practice, including requirements for the majority of family hearings to be dealt with remotely. For details about the changes to court processes and procedures during this time, see Practice Note: Coronavirus (COVID–19)—news and resources for family lawyers. In addition, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) toolkit provides easy access to news, practical guidance and Q&As from across a number of Practice Areas (subject to subscription). The President has issued temporary amendments to the practice guidance on case management and mediation in international child abduction proceedings. This Practice Note sets out the procedure prior to the pandemic and during this period of disruption to the justice system, practitioners should be aware that local practice may vary.

Introduction

Left-behind parents from countries that are contracting states in relation to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction 1980 (the 1980 Hague Convention) can make an application seeking a return of the abducted child back to the child’s place of habitual residence. The applicant can make an application:

  1. via the central authority of their own country, or

  2. directly to the central authority in this jurisdiction, or

  3. directly through a solicitor who is

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