LEGAL EAGLE: My ex has taken son to Spain and is not bringing him back

My seven-year-old old son has been taken abroad by the mother.

"Although you consented to your son going on holiday, this is now child abduction."
"Although you consented to your son going on holiday, this is now child abduction."

I only agreed to them travelling as she told me it would be a short holiday to visit her family in Spain but she has now messaged me to say that she will not be coming back to the UK with my son and I will never see him again. We were previously married and divorced around two years ago but we have remained amicable and she has always allowed me to see my son. I have no idea why this has happened and she is no longer answering the phone or replying to my messages so I think she has blocked me. My son was born in the UK and has lived here all his life and I am named on my son’s birth certificate. What can I do?

As you were previously married and also named on your son’s birth certificate, this means you have parental responsibility of your son and if the mother wished to relocate with your son to Spain then she must have obtained your consent in writing.

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Although you consented to your son going on holiday, this is now child abduction as your son has been wrongfully retained as the mother has not asked for your permission.

You need to act fast and contact the police if you have not already done so.

You should also check with your son’s school and any other family members and friends to find the exact whereabouts of your son.

If you are certain that the mother and your son are still in Spain, the UK and Spain are both members of the Hague Convention which is an international agreement to return children to the country the child usually lives and when children have been wrongfully retained abroad.

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An application will need to be made to the International Child Abduction and Contact Unit providing all the information you have in relation to the mother and your son and their possible whereabouts.

This will then be forwarded to the Central Authority in Spain who will then allocate a lawyer for you in Spain, hopefully free of charge and commence court proceedings for your child to return back to the UK.

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If you would like to discuss further please contact specialists Ben Hoare Bell LLP on 0191 565 3112 or email [email protected]

Please visit www.benhoarebell.co.uk for further information.