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Child Abduction Offences – Criminal Lawyers in Spain

International parental child abduction is defined as the removal or retention of a child outside their country of habitual residence in breach of another parent or guardian´s custody rights. These types of situations sadly happen on a regular basis. It could be a parent is fleeing the country or is trying to escape a relationship gone wrong or perhaps in search of a job. Every situation results in one parent being deprived of their right to custody of their child or visitation of their child.

Spain is a member of The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction or Hague Abduction Convention. The convention sets out the process for returning a child who has been internationally abducted by a parent from one member country to another. When a country is bound by the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction or Hague Abduction Convention it makes it easier to use legal force to return the child home safely. It aims to both prevent the child abduction occurring and to return the situation to normal and protect both parent´s rights in relation with their child. The Convention also aims to protect the child´s right to have contact with both parents where appropriate.

Within the convention there is a definition of child abduction. It states that when a child is removed from their place of residence without the consent of the parent with whom he usually lives or the people of institutions in whose care the child was entrusted then this child has been abducted. A child can also be abducted where there has been a serious breach of an established judicial or administrative decision in the retention of child. The penalty can be from 2 to 4 years of imprisonment and the loss of the right to parental authority for 4 to 10 years.

If within less than 24 hours of the abduction the abducting parent informs the other parent or institution in charge of the child of their exact location and gives a promise of immediate return there will be no charges.

When a child has been abducted to a country which is not a member of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction or Hague Abduction Convention then to can be very difficult for the authorities to use legal force to return the child. If you require more information on this matter please do not hesitate to contact one of our lawyers who will gladly consult you on this sensitive matter.

If your child has been abducted out with Spain it is essential you consult with a lawyer immediately. If the abducting parent can successfully prove that the child has adapted well to living in the new environment and that it would be in the child´s best interest to stay in this new situation then it would be highly unlikely for a judge to agree to return the child to Spain. The best interests of the child will always be what the judge will base a decision upon.

If you are a parent and you suspect your child has been abducted or suspect it to happen we recommend you to immediately consult a lawyer in Spain. Our legal team have experience in International Family Law and would advise you of all the preventative measures that you can take. If the abduction of your child has already occurred our qualified lawyers would pursue every legal means to allow for the safe return of your child.

Our criminal lawyers can help you with your case in Barcelona, Catalonia, or other areas of Spain.

Should you need further information, or legal advice, please do not hesitate to contact our lawyers. You can contact us by using the contact form below, by emailing, or by telephoning +34 93 514 39 97.

Disclaimer: This information in this article is not definitive, for up to date legal advice which is relevant to your case please contact our lawyers.