Child Abduction

8.30.20 Updated on:5 November 2021

Enforcement

If you have a Residence Order or an injunction stopping children being taken from the island, you can tell the Customs and Immigration Service who will check passengers going off the island. An injunction is a court order saying something must not happen.

Someone traveling abroad with children would need to have passports for them. If there is the chance of a parent applying for a passport to remove children from the Court’s jurisdiction, the Passport Office should be informed. Every child traveling has to have their own passport.

If children have been taken off the island without permission and the parent with a Residence Order believes that they will not be returned promptly, legal advice should be sought straight away. Legal Aid may be available.  If children have been taken to the UK, it is possible to have the adult who has taken them arrested under the English Family Law Act and children brought back to the island.  If they have travelled anywhere else, it is possible for the Courts to bring them back to the jurisdiction under Hague Convention proceedings.

Child Abduction and Custody [Jersey] Law 2005

Under the Child Abduction and Custody (Jersey) Law, the Royal Court has the power to stop parents who are no longer living together from leaving with children and allow parents who have custody to get children back. The Law applies international Hague Conventions on child abduction and the enforcement of custody decisions to the island.

As a result of the Law, Jersey has signed up to the parts of the Hague Convention, which requires the immediate return of an abducted child to their country of normal residence while custody is decided and to the European Convention, which allows for custody decisions that have already been made to be recognised and enforced.

You can view the full law here.