Following the breakdown of a relationship or marriage it is often the situation where one parent will want to take the children abroad during their school holidays. This article deals with what can be done if the children do not return from their holiday as planned.

Often at the end of a trip abroad, the children will return home, as anticipated, however, there are unfortunately situations where the travelling parent decides, without any consultation or agreement from the other parent, to retain the children in the foreign country. Such a decision might be deemed wrongful in the eyes of the law. This is because parents will often share parental responsibility for their children and therefore important decision concerning the children, such as where they live, should be made jointly, by both parents.

Where one parent acts alone and decides to retain the children abroad there are options available to the parent who has been left behind and it is important that specialist legal advice is sought at the earliest opportunity. The appropriate remedy will depend on the circumstances of the case including, the country the children live in normally and the country they have been retained in. This is as we may be able to rely on an international agreement, such as The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction or EU Law to achieve the swift return of the children to their home country.

There are also remedies available under English Law including applications made to the High Court in England and Wales to obtain orders that direct the other parent to return the children to their home country immediately or orders which can be placed before the court of the country the children have been taken to, to persuade them to assist with the return of the children to their home country.

In these cases it is often necessary to act swiftly to seek the return of your children and we at TV Edwards can advise you of your options regardless of whether you are based abroad and your children have been kept in England or Wales or if you are in England and Wales and your children have been taken abroad. We will offer you the support and advice that you need during what is often, an extremely difficult time.

At TV Edwards we have dedicated team of solicitors who specialise in advising parents in international children matters including preventing the abduction of children and the recovery of children who have been taken by one parent whether it be to another place within England and Wales, within the United Kingdom or internationally. If you have an international children law issue that you need assistance with then please do not hesitate to contact us on 0203 440 8000 or

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