If you have been threatened and you fear that your child may be taken from you or taken from the country without your permission – you should do two things. Contact the police and contact a solicitor. For any child under 16, if you are not in possession of a residence order, removal of that child from the country without consent is illegal.
Firstly the police need to be aware of the situation if the threat is very imminent so they can put preventative measures into place. Each port and airport in the country will be put on alert with information being given to them about the child and about the potential abductor. These measures will only be taken if there is evidence to support the threat and the abduction could take place within the next two days.
If you are concerned that your child may be abducted but the threat is not imminent you should contact a solicitor. Depending on the specific situation there are a number of steps that can be made and what route you decide to take will depend on the nature of the threat. For situations where the potential abductor legally has contact with the child it may be possible to alter the terms of the contact they do have to reduce the risk of abduction. For example, visits may have to be supervised. It may also be possible to remove their visiting rights altogether.
It may be ruled that the child’s passport rights are suspended or that any passports which have the child included on them must be surrendered to the court. This should prevent the child from being able to be taken out of the country. Other measures designed to prevent the removal of the child from the UK are:
– Prohibited steps order
– Orders to disclose the child’s location at all times
– Prevention of the individual leaving the jurisdiction
– Making the child a ward of the High Court
– Residence order
– Parental responsibility order
– Money which will be forfeited if the child is not returned to the country after a trip abroad
– Seek and Find order
As can be seen, your options are numerous so you should discuss the matter with a family law solicitor who will able to let you know the best option for you. Every situation is different so there is not a single route which works for all, a different mix of court orders may be used in each different situation depending on its severity and on what agreements are already in place regarding the child.
Call Roskell Davies on 0800 142 2901 or fill in an online enquiry if you require a specialist family law solicitor to give you advice about threats of abduction. All initial enquiries are completely free of charge.