International Children matters and contact disputes

Advising On International Children’s Issues

IMD Solicitors can help with a whole variety of children matters in the UK including:

  • Arrangements as to where your child/children should live, including relocation abroad
  • Contact arrangements – for the parent who does not live with the child/children
  • Parental responsibility issues
  • Permission/Consent for issuing a passport for a child
  • Temporary/Permanent removal of child/children from the UK
  • International Child Abduction

Why Choose IMD Solicitors LLP?

At IMD Solicitors LLP, we understand the complexities and challenges that arise in legal matters with an international dimension. Here are key reasons why you should consider us for your legal needs:

  1. Expertise in Cases with International Elements: Our team is adept at handling intricate cases involving international elements, such as division of assets across borders, child abduction and child relocation. This makes us particularly suited for individuals with international family or business ties.
  2. Award-Winning Legal Excellence: We are proud recipients of multiple national awards, a testament to our commitment to legal excellence. Our awards reflect our high standards and dedication to achieving the best outcomes for our clients. You can check list of our awards by clicking here.
  3. Outstanding Client Testimonials: Our clients’ satisfaction speaks volumes about our services. We invite you to read the glowing testimonials on ReviewSolicitors, which showcase our ability to exceed client expectations.
  4. Proven Track Record in Complex Cases: Our firm has a proven track record of successfully handling complex legal cases, particularly those involving cross-border elements. Our expertise is especially beneficial for individuals seeking sophisticated legal solutions.
  5. Deep Cultural Understanding: At IMD Solicitors LLP, we recognise the significance of cultural nuances in legal matters. Our team, with its diverse cultural backgrounds, is uniquely positioned to understand and empathetically address the specific needs of clients from various international communities. This cultural insight is invaluable for clients who are either from outside the UK or in cross-cultural relationships, ensuring sensitive and informed handling of their legal affairs.
  6. Personalised and Compassionate Approach: We believe in a client-centric approach, offering personalised and compassionate legal advice. Understanding that each case is unique, we tailor our strategies to suit individual client needs.
  7. Comprehensive Legal Services: Beyond family law, we offer a wide range of legal services, making us a one-stop solution for all your legal needs, whether personal or business-related.
  8. Commitment to Client Communication: We believe in empowering our clients with knowledge. Our team ensures that you are well-informed about the legal processes and your options, enabling you to make educated decisions.
  9. Strategic International Networks: Our extensive network of international legal and professional contacts allows us to efficiently handle cases that span multiple jurisdictions, providing a seamless legal experience for our clients.
  10. High Ethical Standards: As a reputable law firm, we adhere to the highest ethical standards, ensuring transparency, integrity, and professionalism in all our dealings.

At IMD Solicitors LLP, we are dedicated to providing exceptional legal services with a global perspective. Contact us to experience legal support that is as unique and international as your needs.

Contact our UK International Children and Contact Disputes Lawyers

Our experienced international children and contact dispute lawyers in London, Manchester and Birmingham are ready to help you make legal arrangements for your children. Speak to a member of our specialist international family team today on 0330 107 0107.

Child living and contact arrangments

When a relationship ends, concerns for your children’s welfare will no doubt be your priority. The international children lawyers at IMD Solicitors can advise on all options available to parents to ensure any issues as to where your children should live or contact issues are resolved.

The first step ideally would be for parents to amicably discuss the needs of their children and come to a mutual agreement that has their children’s best interests at heart.  This can be done either with each other or via the help of a third party mediator.

child overseas, international relocation, court proceedings relating

Unfortunately, though this isn’t always possible as usually emotions are running high and Court proceedings may have to be considered. This should be the last resort however and the welfare of the children should remain paramount at all times.

Many of our cases involve complex Children Act proceedings where one party has raised allegations of domestic abuse against another party. These can be lengthy proceedings and in some circumstances a fact-finding hearing might be required so that the court determines the truth of any allegations raised.

To talk to a compassionate member of our specialist family law team, call us on 0330 107 0107 or ask for a free call back today.

International Divorce and Financial Settlement

If you are currently considering a divorce or received a divorce petition from your spouse and want to find out more about how we can advise and support you, click here to visit our international divorce web page to find out more.

If you need expert advice about the division of matrimonial assets and financial settlement proceedings, particularly if you have assets located outside of the UK, click here to visit our financial issues and settlements web page to find out more.

Temporary/Permanent Removal Of Children From The UK

We also deal with cases that involve temporary or permanent removal of a child from the UK jurisdiction. This might be in cases where a parent wants to take their child back to their home country but the other parent might not be in agreement, so a court application might become necessary. This is a sensitive and often difficult decision to make but we can discuss all options available to you, whether you are the parent that wishes to take the child to another country or the parent that is opposed to this.

To talk to a compassionate member of our specialist family law team, call us on 0330 107 0107 or ask for a free call back today.

International Child Abduction

International child abduction refers to the wrongful removal or retention of a child from their habitual residence without the consent of the custodial parent or in violation of their rights of custody. In the United Kingdom, international child abduction is governed by the provisions of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, along with domestic legislation such as the Child Abduction Act 1984.

The Hague Convention, to which the UK is a signatory, aims to protect children from the harmful effects of abduction and to ensure the prompt return of abducted children to their country of habitual residence. It provides a framework for cooperation between countries involved in cases of international child abduction.

Under UK law, if a child is wrongfully removed from or retained outside of the UK in breach of the custody rights of a parent, the left-behind parent can seek the child’s return through the Hague Convention. The Convention establishes a central authority in each signatory country to handle cases of child abduction and facilitate communication and cooperation between central authorities in different countries.

To initiate the return of an abducted child, the left-behind parent must make an application to the UK central authority, which will then communicate with the central authority of the country where the child is located. The central authorities work together to locate the child, secure their return, and resolve any legal issues related to custody and access.

The Hague Convention generally prioritizes the prompt return of the child to their country of habitual residence, as this is considered in the child’s best interests. However, certain exceptions may apply, such as concerns over the child’s safety or the existence of grave risks that could expose the child to physical or psychological harm if they were returned.

If a child has been wrongfully removed to or retained in a country that is not a signatory to the Hague Convention, different legal procedures and mechanisms may come into play. The left-behind parent will need to consult with legal professionals who specialize in international family law to explore available options and strategies for the return of the child.

It is essential to seek legal advice promptly if you believe your child has been wrongfully abducted or retained internationally. Our experienced family lawyers can guide you through the complex legal process, international laws, advocate for your rights, and work towards the safe return of your child.

Please note that this is a general overview of international child abduction law in the context of UK law. The specific details and procedures may vary depending on the circumstances of each case. It is crucial to consult with qualified legal professionals for specialist legal advice tailored to your specific situation.

Want to know more?

Read some of our articles below or call us at 0330 107 0107 in order to arrange a free no no-obligation call or request a free quote.

To talk to a compassionate member of our specialist family law team, call us on 0330 107 0107 or ask for a free call back today.

Contact Our Family & Children Top Rated UK Solicitors at our offices in London, Manchester and Birmingham


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Example of cases we have dealt with:

F v F - Acted for a German husband in a complex financial remedy matter. He decided to instruct IMD Solicitors after he had lost trust in his previously instructed solicitors and feared that he would not achieve a favourable outcome from the proceedings. The relevant assets were spread across the globe with some located in the UK (including a multi-million pound business), Gibraltar, Spain, Dubai, and Poland. The overall value of assets exceeded £24 million. The husband had been cut off from the matrimonial assets and excluded from control of the business that had been established by his family. The case involved the instruction of numerous experts, for business valuations, Capital Gains Tax reports, and opinions on the enforcement of orders in foreign jurisdictions, and dealing with several applications, including applications for orders to freeze assets, prevent the disposition of assets, for the joinder of parties, and to litigate conduct issues. The final result exceeded the client’s expectations.
L v L - We were instructed by a mother in a complex international children matter. She was required by orders of the UK courts to return the child to the UK from Poland. She had travelled with the child to Poland but, following unsuccessful application to extend her stay there in August 2017, she decided not to return to the UK because the child disclosed sexual abuse by a member of the paternal family and the father. In September 2018, the Polish court dismissed the father’s Hague Convention application for the child's return on the basis of Article 13(b), a decision which the father appealed. In March 2019, the father applied to the UK High Court for an order for the child’s return pursuant to the procedure set out in Article 11(6) – (8) of the Brussels IIA Regulation. Despite the father's unsuccessful Hague Convention application in Poland, the UK court ordered the return of the child. Article 11 does not allow the court of the returning country much discretion. After all of this, the mother instructed IMD Solicitors to apply to discharge the orders of the UK Court for the return of the child. Even in the face of the fact that most applications to discharge such return orders fail, we succeeded. We are currently awaiting a decision in the UK courts on a further application for the transfer of jurisdiction to the Polish courts where the mother resides with the child.
G v P - We represent a Spanish mother in respect of an urgent application for a Child Arrangements Order and Specific Issue Order in the UK seeking the relocation of the child to Spain. This was after the return of the child to the UK under Hague Convection proceedings which this mother lost in Spain. She was asking for an order for the relocation of the child back to Spain and an urgent interim Child Arrangements Order to allow her to see the child pending the final outcome of the UK proceedings. IMD successfully argued that, regardless of the return of the child to the UK under the Hague Convention, the mother should be allowed unsupervised overnight contact with the child. We were delighted to be able to secure her contact with the child for Christmas and she said that it was the best Christmas gift she could have wished for. The outcome of the application for the relocation is pending.
S v V - We currently represent the father in Child Arrangements Order proceedings issued by the mother in relation to variation of a UK order made in the face of numerous other international proceedings. He is an Italian National who has been living in France for the last 20 years and the mother is a Lithuanian national. The child is now 11 years old and proceedings concerning the child have been ongoing in various jurisdictions for the majority of the child`s life. Contested divorce proceedings including child arrangements took place in Monaco. The French Court and authorities were also involved, and various proceedings had been ongoing between parties since 2013 in France and Monaco. The parties’ divorce was pronounced in Monaco. Thereafter, in December 2020, the mother submitted an application to relocate to England with the child, and the relocation took place in June 2021. Upon relocation, the she lodged a child arrangement order application, seeking to register a judgment made in Monaco and to vary the same in respect of the contact arrangements between the father and the child. The father seeks for the child’s return to Monaco. Due to the parties’ mutual allegations and the associated international elements, various authorities and courts that have been involved in the case, the local authority has become involved with the family and a guardian has been instructed to represent the child in the UK proceedings. At present, these proceedings in England are ongoing and the outcome of the professional reports regarding the family are awaited.  
P v P - We have acted for the Respondent Husband in relation to the financial remedy proceedings in the UK. The parties had various assets in the UK and Romania consisting mainly of the portfolio of properties but conduct issues were raised by the Wife due to a business of the Husband over which she had lost control and her allegations of dissipation of assets. The value of assets excluding the business were in a region of £3 million. 
K v K - We act in financial remedy proceedings for a wife who is a Polish national. The matter's complexity mainly comes from a dispute between the parties around land in Poland. Its value was initially in dispute but was then assessed by a joint expert to be in the region of half a million pounds. The total assets in this case are estimated to be worth over £1 million. The land in Poland is a subject to contract with a third party and is being leased as a photovoltaic (solar) farm. The division of the land to achieve an equal share of the assets is complicated due to the contract in place and plans for the future use of the land. Currently the parties are awaiting a final hearing but efforts are being made to reach a settlement with the aid of alternative dispute resolution and in order to save the parties money and avoid further delays.
R v O - We acted pro bono and worked together with a law firm in Poland to ensure that the Costa Rican Mother regains access to her child. The Mother's only child was abducted from the UK in 2014. The Mother was successful with the abduction case and the UK family courts ordered the return of the child. The orders were recognised in Poland but unfortunately due to various issues with the Mother's immigration status and court's delays in Poland, the orders were never enforced. The Mother was facing removal from the UK and prospects of never seeing her child again. We have corresponded with various courts in Poland dealing with international abduction matters and we decided that an application for contact should be issued rather than any proceedings for further enforcement of the orders, as the Mother had not seen the child for around 7 years. At the same we secured the Mother's stay in the UK making successful outside of immigration rules application to extend her stay. We now receive regular photos from the Mother with her daughter, as face to face contact is taking place. We helped to secure an order of the Polish courts for the Mother to see the child regularly in person, whilst when she instructed us she was facing a prospect of never seeing her child again and being deported to Costa Rica.

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May 2024

Amendments to the Family Procedural Rules: Non-court Dispute Resolution

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