Child Abduction and the Disclosure Order

Child abduction is a parent’s worst nightmare. The thought of your child being taken away from you and not knowing where they are or if they are safe is a terrifying thought. Unfortunately, child abduction is a reality for many families, especially during custody battles.

In the United Kingdom, there are laws and court orders in place to help prevent and address child abduction. One of these court orders is the Disclosure Order, which can be a powerful tool in reuniting families and protecting children. On this page, we will explore what a Disclosure Order is, how it works, and why it is important in cases of child abduction.

If you need advice regarding a child that has been abducted or is at risk of being abducted please get in touch. We offer a free introductory call to explain how we can help.

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If you need to speak with someone you will always receive a friendly welcome if you telephone between the hours of 9am-5pm but if we are closed, you can  request a callback. We will call you back as near to your requested time as possible.

What is a Disclosure Order?

A Disclosure Order is a court order that requires a person or organisation to disclose information or documents to the court. In cases of child abduction, a Disclosure Order can be used to obtain information about the whereabouts of a child or the person responsible for the abduction.

How Does a Disclosure Order Work?

A Disclosure Order is typically obtained through an application to the Court. The application must include a detailed explanation of why the order is necessary and what information is being sought. The Court will then review the application and decide whether or not to grant the order.

If the order is granted, the person or organisation named in the order must comply with the Court’s request for information. Failure to comply with a Disclosure Order can result in legal consequences.

How can an Order of Disclosure aid in finding my child?

An Order for Disclosure of a child’s location means that the Court will operate on your behalf to help to trace the specified person(s) who might have information about where your child is.

Tracing these specified persons could encompass submissions to HMRC and the Department of Work and Pensions; records of incoming and outgoing phone calls; and information regarding their travel and actions. This information is inaccessible without the Order.

These specified persons are legally obligated to answer the Court’s information requests.

The information obtained by the Court is utilised to reach a decision on your specific situation. The Court might decide to reveal the child’s location, or they might not. The decision depends on several considerations, including:

  • The desires and sentiments of the child
  • The child’s emotional, physical, and educational requirements
  • Whether the child is suffering or at risk of suffering any form of abuse or neglect
  • The capacity of the child’s parents or guardians to fulfill the child’s needs
  • The impact on the child due to any alterations in circumstances as a result of the order

When is a Disclosure Order Used?

This type of Order is often used in cases of child abduction, where a child has been taken abroad by a parent or family member without the consent of the other parent. In these cases, the parent left behind may not know where their child is or who is responsible for the abduction.

The Order can also be used in cases where a child is at risk of harm or in danger. For example, if a child has been taken by a non-custodial parent who has a history of violence or drug abuse, a Disclosure Order can be used to obtain information about the child’s whereabouts and ensure their safety.

Why is a Disclosure Order Important in Cases of Child Abduction?

Child abduction is a complex and emotionally charged issue, and a Disclosure Order can play a crucial role in addressing it. Here are some reasons why a Disclosure Order is important in cases of child abduction:

Reuniting Families

The primary goal of a Disclosure Order in cases of child abduction is to reunite families. By obtaining information about the whereabouts of a child, the parent left behind can take the necessary steps to bring their child home.

Protecting Children

In cases where a child has been taken by a non-custodial parent or a family member with a history of violence or drug abuse, a Disclosure Order can be crucial in ensuring the child’s safety. By obtaining information about the child’s whereabouts, the parent left behind can take the necessary steps to protect their child from harm.

Gathering Evidence

In some cases, the Order can also be used to gather evidence for legal proceedings. For example, if a parent has taken a child to another country without the other parent’s consent, a Disclosure Order can be used to obtain information about the child’s location and the parent’s intentions. This information can then be used in court to support a custody case or criminal charges.

Seek Legal Advice?

If you believe your child has been abducted, it is important to act quickly and seek legal advice. A family law or child abduction solicitor can help you understand your options and guide you through the process of obtaining a Disclosure Order.

Gathering Evidence

To obtain a Disclosure Order, you will need to provide evidence to the court that the order is necessary. This evidence can include:

  • A detailed explanation of the circumstances surrounding the abduction
  • Any previous court orders or agreements related to custody or visitation
  • If possible, evidence of the child’s likely current location or evidence about the person responsible for the abduction
  • Any evidence of harm or danger to the child or potential harm or danger to the child

Applying to the Court

Once you have gathered the necessary evidence, you can apply to the Court for a Disclosure Order. It is important to seek legal advice before making an application, as the process can be complex and time sensitive.

What Happens After a Disclosure Order is Granted?

Once a Disclosure Order is granted, the person or organisation named in the order must comply with the Court’s request for information. This information will then be used to reunite the family, protect the child, or gather evidence for legal proceedings.

Reuniting Families

If the Disclosure Order is successful in locating the child, the parent left behind can take the necessary steps to bring their child home. This may involve working with local authorities or seeking legal assistance in the country where the child is located.

Protecting Children

If the Disclosure Order reveals that the child is in danger, the parent left behind can take the necessary steps to protect their child. This may involve seeking a Court Order for the child’s return or contacting local authorities for assistance.

Legal Proceedings

If the Disclosure Order is used to gather evidence for legal proceedings, the information obtained can be used to support a custody case or criminal charges against the person responsible for the abduction.

The Disclosure Order is a Powerful Tool

Child abduction is a serious issue that can have devastating effects on families. A Disclosure Order can be a powerful tool in addressing and preventing child abduction. By obtaining information about the whereabouts of a child, the Order can help reunite families, protect children, and gather evidence for legal proceedings. If you believe your child has been abducted, it is important to seek legal advice from a child aduction solicitor and take the necessary steps to obtain a Disclosure Order. Tyrer Roxburgh can help.

We pride ourselves on being friendly and approachable so if you need advice from one of our friendly solicitors, please do get in touch by calling 0208 889 3319 or via one of the options below.

The first introductory call is free and enables you to outline your circumstances and for us to explain how we can help. Our team are friendly and approachable and are always happy to answer your questions.

If you have a question about our services, please use our online form to send us an email.

If you need to speak with someone you will always receive a friendly welcome if you telephone between the hours of 9am-5pm but if we are closed, you can  request a callback. We will call you back as near to your requested time as possible.