‘Rights of Custody’ Important Child Abduction Case in Supreme Court

by Slater & Gordon Lawyers on April 7, 2014

An important Child Abduction case will be considered by the Supreme Court  tomorrow.

The Supreme Court will consider “Rights of Custody” in the context of  grandparents who were caring for the child in question, by agreement with the  mother of the child, who then abruptly ended the arrangement and  relocated.

Under the Hague Convention, which is an international  convention which deals with child abduction, anyone asking the Court to consider  whether a child has been wrongfully moved between countries and if so, to order  that the child be returned, must first demonstrate that they have rights of  custody and have been exercising them.

Anyone who cannot demonstrate Rights of Custody cannot use the summary return  remedy which aims to ensure children are returned to their usual place of  residence as quickly as possible.
There is no uniform definition of  Rights of Custody, and what constitutes such rights has been the subject of case  law and debate for many years. In English law, and in many other jurisdictions,  grandparents do not automatically have rights to see a grandchild, nor to have  an input in the arrangements for their care. Grandparents can however acquire  certain rights if Orders, such as a Residence Order, are in place, though those  rights only last for as long as any such order is in force.

The Courts decision will mark an interesting and important analysis of the  kind of practical arrangements which are likely to lead to Rights of Custody in  more unusual family arrangements, where the child’s primary carer(s) is not one  of their parents.

For expert legal advice please call our child custody Solicitors on freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online and we’ll be happy to help you.

Cara Nuttall is a  Family Solicitor at Slater & Gordon Lawyers in Manchester.

Slater & Gordon Lawyers have offices in London, Manchester, Liverpool,  Birmingham, Sheffield, Milton Keynes, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Halifax,  Newcastle, Wakefield and meeting rooms in Bramhall, Cheshire.

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Slater & Gordon Lawyers are a national law firm in the UK delivering exceptional, affordable legal advice across a broad spectrum of areas including personal injury, employment law and family law.
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