Child Relocation, Abduction & Parent Alienation Lawyers Berkhamsted, Amersham & Beaconsfield

Child Relocation

If you would like to move abroad with your child(ren) and the other parent does not approve for you to do so, you can apply to the Court for leave to remove your child(ren) from the jurisdiction of England and Wales.

You can ask the other parent with parental responsibility for permission in writing. If they are not agreeable, you can make an application to court in order to seek permission to relocate with your child(ren). The Court will usually consider the best interests of the child(ren).

You can move within the UK if you do not have a child arrangement order in place. You also do not need permission from the other parent if they do not have parental responsibility. It is also possible to move abroad, providing that the Court has granted permission for this move.

If there is an existing child arrangement order, you will still need to adhere to the terms of this order. The other parent would have to agree to alter the arrangement, or you would have to apply to the Court to change the current arrangement.

If the other parent has moved within the UK with your child(ren) and this breaches an existing contact order, you can apply to the court for the return of the child(ren). If you wish to prevent the other parent from leaving with your child(ren), you can ask the Court for a prohibited steps order.

Children can legally decide who to live with when they reach the age of 16.

Child Abduction

Child abduction is when a person connected to a child removes them from their country of residence without the consent of those with parental responsibility or the court.

Yes, in accordance with UK law, a parent can be found guilty of abducting their own child(ren).

Child abduction is a criminal offence and carries a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment.

If you are concerned about the possibility of your child(ren) being abducted by their other parent, you should alert your local police station; they will ask you to make a detailed statement. You can also apply to the Court for a prohibited steps order, which will prevent your child’s removal from the UK. In addition, the Court can impose restrictions requiring the child’s passport to be surrendered or prevent HM Passport Office from granting a passport to the child.

Under certain circumstances, you can apply to the High Court to make your child a ward of the Court; this will immediately freeze the situation and prevent the child from being taken abroad. However, this will mean you will share parental responsibility with the Court.

If you believe that your child has been abducted, your first move should be to call the police and report it. You should also seek legal advice from a solicitor. The team here at Breakthrough Family Law Solicitors have experience with abduction cases and is available on the phone at 01494 328848 from 9am to 9pm, seven days a week.


Wardship is the term given to Court proceedings by which the Court becomes the legal guardian of a child to ensure their protection and safety.  

The High Court has a duty to protect children. It is the duty of the Court under its inherent jurisdiction to ensure that a child who is the subject of proceedings is protected and properly taken care of.

Wardship means that a child is a ward of the Court. The High Court is their legal guardian to ensure their safety.

The Court holds parental responsibility for the child. No important steps, such as medical procedures, may be taken without the court’s approval, and the child may not leave the UK without the Court’s permission.

Parental Alienation

Parental alienation occurs when one parent turns the child against the other through psychological manipulation.

Under UK law, parental alienation is not a criminal offence.

To prove parental alienation, you will need witnesses. Witnesses will be the parent who is being alienated, the parent who is perpetrating the alienation and the child who is the subject. You may also be able to present relatives, friends, therapists or doctors as witnesses as well. Another form of proof is if you have any documentation; this could take the form of messages or letters between the parents or posts on social media. Finally, if relevant, you can use the diary or journal of your child if they keep one.

Parental alienation is considered a form of psychological abuse against the target parent and the child subjected to it.

Some common indications of parental alienation are:

  • A child repeatedly complains about one parent, and the child cannot provide reasonable justification for their complaints.
  • The child will only talk negatively about their alienated parent and fail to recognise their good qualities. In contrast, they will only have good things to say about the other parent.
  • The child will not feel guilty when they have said hurtful things or been disrespectful to their alienated parent.
  • The child will always favour the alienating parent regardless of the situation.
  • A child manipulated this way will claim they developed these feelings independently.

Serving family law clients across Bucks, Berks, Herts & Middlesex

Our specialist family law solicitors serve our clients across Bucks, Berks, Herts and Middlesex.

Some clients work with us remotely, others we can visit at home or they can visit our offices in AmershamBeaconsfieldBerkhamstedCheshamChorleywoodGerrard’s Cross, High Wycombe, Rickmansworth or The Chalfonts.

Wherever you are, let Breakthrough Family Law provide you with the specialist advice that you need.

Make An Enquiry Today

To ensure you receive the best family law advice available, please call us now on 01494 328848 or Make An Online Enquiry and we will get back to you right away.

We inspire trust and confidence in our clients by offering high-quality advice in a clear, straightforward and compassionate manner.

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