Unfortunately there are occasions when a child is not returned by a parent following contact. What would you do in that situation?
You may have no idea how to get the child returned when all attempts to contact the other parent are met with no response or unanswered telephone calls.
If this happens to you – seek advice at the earliest opportunity.
We will ask you various questions to establish whether there is a likely risk to the child if the child remains in the care of the other parent, for example
- Has there been any domestic violence with your relationship?
- Are drugs or alcohol likely to affect the other parent’s ability to provide care for the child?
- Have social services been notified? If so, are they concerned?
Depending on your answers you may be advised to obtain an urgent Order from the courts. This Order is known as a Prohibited Steps Order (PSO).
The court also has the power to then make Child Arrangement Orders which can regulate when a child spends time with the other parent. This will provide reassurance and security and hopefully avoid further difficulties in the future.
Legal Aid may be available if there is a risk to the child (subject to a means assessment). It is important to seek early advice. In circumstances where there is a risk to a child same day appointments are available. Please telephone us and speak to one of our Specialist Family Law Team: 01924 332395