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Help ' I have kept my children in England and Wales following a holiday

Have you retained your children in England and Wales from abroad following a holiday and cannot face taking them back?

Are you worried what might happened? If the other parent has not agreed to the children remaining in England and Wales then you may be faced with an allegation of child abduction. This can be an unfortunate label when actually the reason for not returning the children can sometimes be an attempt to escape an unhappy family situation.

Here are my top tips on 'do's' and 'don't's' if you have kept your children in England and Wales:

1. Do not rush to get an Order from the English Court allowing the children to stay and live with you, this could backfire!

2. In confidence, get specialist legal advice quickly from a solicitor with expertise in international children law, do not wait to be served with Court papers from the other parent!

3. Do not make any concessions to the other parent about the children or the future.

4. Depending on the circumstances, allow the other parent to speak to the children or video call them and send photos and updates.

5. Do not speak to the children about the legal issues or the dispute with the other parent.

6. Accept any financial help the other parent might offer while things are being considered about the future.

7. If there are still belongings in the other country that you and the children need, and depending on the circumstances, ask the other parent to send them to you.

8. Depending on the circumstances, allow any requests from the other parent to come to see the children but check this with your solicitor first so that safeguards are put in place!

9. Take steps to integrate the children into the social and family environment.

10. Keep in touch with your specialist solicitor throughout all of the above so that your legal position is not compromised.

I am a specialist family law solicitor with a particular specialism in international children cases. You can contact me on tel: 01737 229 610 or email: mandeep.gill@venters.co.uk