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

Often the parent and children will travel abroad and return to England, at the end of their trip. However, there are unfortunately situations where the travelling parent makes a decision not to return to England with the children, and instead to stay with the children in the foreign country. Such a decision might be deemed wrongful in the eyes of the law. This is because often parents will share parental responsibility for their children and therefore important decision concerning the children, such as where they live, should be made together, by both parents.

Where one parent makes the decision, on their own, to stay abroad with the children, specialist legal advice should be sought at the earliest opportunity. Here at TV Edwards LLP, we have a specialist International Children team who are able to provide this advice.

There are a number of different options which will be available to the parent who has been left behind. 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 kept in. This is as there may be an international agreement such as The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction or European Law which we can rely on to achieve the swift return of the children to their home country.

If the international agreements can not be used, there are other remedies available under British Law including applications 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 traumatic 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 both within England and Wales, across the United Kingdom as well as internationally. We also assist with seeking the return of abducted children and/or abandoned spouses. 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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