Updated 16 May 2019
Words you may need to know
Residence order – This is a legal order that states who the child/ren should live with. The person who has the residence order has custody of the child. They are in their care.
Enforcement – How something is made to happen , how it is forced
Injunction - This is a legal order which says someone can’t do something. For example, make contact with someone, doing something etc
Jurisdiction – The country/ island/ place that the courts can apply the law to
Abduction – This is the taking of a person or child against their wishes or without consent
Hague Convention – This is an international agreement on legal matters that countries sigh up to and agree to abide by.
This is not an easy area of law. For more information see the following Child Abduction Leaflet
If you have a Residence Order, or have got an injunction stopping child/ren being taken from the island, you can tell the Customs and Immigration Service who could check passengers going off the island. An injunction is a court order saying something must not happen.
Someone travelling abroad with children would need to have passports for them. Children may be put on a mother's or father's passport. 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. From 5th October 1998 every child travelling has to have their own passport.
If the child/ren 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. If the child/ren have been taken to the UK, it is possible to have the adult who has taken them arrested (if it is known where they are) under the English Family Law Act, and the child/ren brought back to the island.
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 making off with child/ren and allow parents who have custody to get the child/ren back. The Law applies international Conventions on international 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 its 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.