Child Abduction – Leicester

Emery Johnson Astillsfamily team

Imagine your worst nightmare comes to life.

Your ex-partner regularly sees your children at the weekend.  They always return them to your care on time, if anything, frequently rather early, almost as if they can’t really cope with spending time with them.  The children have always been returned safe, well, clean and fed.  One weekend they fail to return the children to you.

Initially you believe they may be running a little late, perhaps stuck in traffic.  After about 15 minutes you try to call your ex-partner.  They don’t answer their phone.  At this stage you are not overly concerned as you just think they may be driving.  Another 15 minutes passes and the children are still not home.  You really start to worry now.  This is extremely uncharacteristic behaviour.  You try to contact your ex-partner again.  They still do not answer and the phone just rings and rings.

You start to consider all the possible reasons for the children not being home yet, for example whether they have been involved in an accident, or whether your ex-partner has no intention whatsoever of returning the children.  They have previously threatened to retain the children, but this was during the heat of an argument and you just thought it was an idle threat.

Starting to panic you call the children’s grandparents, other relatives whom they frequently see and even some of your ex-partner’s friends.  No one has seen the children or your ex-partner all weekend, although some friends seem to recollect they mentioned they were taking the children away for a short break, but did not specify where.

You are now beside yourself, convinced something bad has happened and ring round the hospitals, following which you contact the Police to see if there is any information there has been an accident.  You still can’t find out any information as to where your children are.

You try to ring your ex-partner once more and, this time, the phone goes straight to voicemail.  Either they must have turned their phone off or the battery has gone flat.  You are horrified when you realise the voicemail is in a foreign language, indicating that they must be abroad.  You run upstairs to check the drawer where you usually keep the children’s passports.  They’re gone.  Your ex-partner must have taken them when they went to the bathroom on coming to collect the children.

Your worst fears have been realised.  Your ex-partner has abducted the children abroad.  Things start to click into place and you now appreciate they have been planning this for months.  That would explain why they suddenly slashed the voluntary child support they were paying in half, making excuses that they had recently experienced a significant drop in income.  Your ex-partner must have been saving and scheming for this trip.

You call the Police straight away and, whilst they are very sympathetic towards your plight, they do not really offer much helpful advice to you as to what you can do to get the children brought back to the U.K. to your care.

If this tragic situation were to happen to your family, you should contact the family team at Emery Johnson Astills.  Even if your children have not been abducted, but you have serious concerns that they are at risk of abduction, we would suggest that you still contact us for urgent advice.

Experienced family solicitors within the family team at Emery Johnson Astills are able to provide you with expert advice as to the best route to having your children returned to you, or to prevent them from being abducted, including making urgent applications to Court.  If you meet the criteria, Legal Aid may be available for such applications.

The family team at Emery Johnson Astills are one of the few firms in Leicester and Leicestershire recommended as Specialist Lawyers in the area of child abduction matters on the Reunite website.  If you require advice regarding the issue of abduction, or any other family law matters, don’t hesitate, telephone 0116 2554855, or email familyteam@johnsonastills.com for urgent, expert advice.  Emery Johnson Astills have offices in Leicester City Centre, Loughborough and Coalville in an attempt to ensure we are more accessible to our clients.