What To Do If The Other Parent Won’t Return My Child?

1. Ensure the Child’s Safety

The most important thing in this situation is that the child is not in danger. If the other parent does not have parental responsibility with the child, you can get the police involved. By default, the mother has parental responsibility automatically as they are listed on the child’s birth certificate. But the other parent can also have parental responsibilities under one of the following conditions:

The father of the child is married to the mother at the time of the child’s birth

The father is not married to the mother but is listed as the father on the birth certificate

The father registered parental responsibility with the court

If there is a real and immediate danger to your child’s safety, you can still call the police to retrieve your child from the other parent. However, if this is not the case, and the other parent also has parental responsibility, you can take legal means to get your child back.

2. Child Arrangement Order

Ex-couples usually have an agreed arrangement on who the child should live with and other major decisions in the child’s life. However, if the other parent does not comply with the agreed terms, you can always seek help using legal means. 

 Applying for a child arrangement order is necessary if the parents of the child do not agree with each other in terms of child maintenance. This will determine where the child will live, which relatives they can have contact with, and the type of contact agreed by both parents in court. 

3. Prohibited Steps Order

If you suspect that the other parent plans to take the child far from you, either abroad or to another part of UK, you can get a Prohibited Steps Order to set limitations to the other parent on where they can bring the child.

Failure to follow the Prohibited Steps Order is a criminal offence and you can file a case against the other parent if this happens.

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