Under the terms of the Family Act 1986, the courts may at any time and for any reason demand that the whereabouts of a child are disclosed by any person who knows their location. This is referred to as an ‘Order for the Disclosure of Information as to the Whereabouts of a Child’ and can be issued within 24 hours as an emergency measure.
If one or more of your children have been removed from your guardianship without your consent, or you suspect they may have been removed from the UK entirely, it’s essential that you seek qualified legal support as quickly as possible. The longer you wait, the more difficult and time-consuming the process may become.
For more information on how to locate a child in the UK or abroad, contact the team at Aristone Solicitors today.
A Disclosure of Whereabouts order may be issued when dealing with a case of child abduction, though also has applications where forced marriage occurs. If a child under your guardianship is taken away from you without your consent (temporarily or with permanent intent), the importance of taking immediate action cannot be overstated.
It is also possible to request an order from the courts to prevent a child being removed without your consent, if you have due cause to believe that the party concerned is planning to do so. In which case, an order may be issued without the other party being notified, if there’s a risk that their awareness of your intention would cause them to remove the child.
Please be aware that you do not necessarily have to be the parent or legal guardian of a child to apply for a Disclosure of Whereabouts order. Anyone who has a legitimate interest in the child and the case in question can present their request to the courts.
The courts will seek information from HMRC and the Department of Work and Pensions, in order to track down the individual or individuals named in the order. Those named in the order are then legally required to disclose the information requested by the courts, regarding the whereabouts of the child.
Information used to track individuals may include telephone records (outgoing and incoming calls) or any general records of their movements and activities. When the information has been collected, the courts will decide what to do with it. At which point, the location of the child may be disclosed, or further information will be required to proceed with the case.
At Aristone Solicitors, we understand the sensitivity of cases involving absent or missing children. We also know the importance of handling such issues with the empathy and urgency they deserve.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the whereabouts of one or more of your children, please contact a member of our legal team anytime. We’ll provide you with an obligation-free consultation to discuss the available options and begin the process of tracing their whereabouts.
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