I’ve talked before about the issues which can arise if your children are going on holiday abroad with grandparents, family friends and so on. This can also crop up for children of a separated couple where only one of the parents is British. Whilst driving to a meeting today I was listening to ‘Face the Facts’ on BBC Radio 4 and hearing the terribly sad stories where an English parent had agreed (often with a letter of consent) to let their child accompany the other for “just a holiday” to the other parent’s home country.
And you can see where this is going can’t you? That’s right, they don’t come back.
The point is that unless the Letter of Consent referred to in the previous blog is time limited the international treaty known as the Hague Convention which covers this, tends to treat the matter as “child retention” and not child “abduction”. Child abduction is a crime and the authorities abroad may be more ready to assist in returning a child to the UK
If this is or could be an issue for you, speak to a Family Lawyer as soon as you can. Don’t leave it until a few days before the trip is planned. The Notary can then work in liaison with the Family Lawyer and the Courts if required.