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Michael Allum: The Duty to Spot Potential Cases of International Child Abduction

Date:8 JUN 2012

With my days studying for the Legal Practice Course still fresh in my mind I entered my training contract only too aware of the need to be live to potential money laundering situations duties of confidentiality and potential of conflict of interests. However having spent the first period of my training contact at a specialist family firm working with cases involving children with an international element I quickly became aware of the need to be alert to potential child abduction scenarios.

Re H [2000] 2 FLR 294 concerned a Swedish mother and English father who met and had a child in Sweden. The parents separated and the child lived initially with the mother in Sweden. Later the mother enrolled in a one year art course which involved her living in both Spain and England. The child initially remained living with her father in Sweden until later that year the parents agreed that the child would travel to Wales to reside there for a period of time with the father. Following acrimonious telephone conversations between the parents the mother consulted a...

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