Child abduction

We act quickly and without hesitation when a child abduction takes place. Our managing partner and barrister Sjak R. Haaheim has extensive experience in these matters, and a substantial win record in court.

Contact Mr. Haaheim immediately, if a child abduction has taken place or is imminent. There are remedies to prevent an ongoing abduction, and you will get the best advice possible. Mr. Haaheim has experience with these matters both as a public prosecutor and as a lawyer.

Child abduction is defined as a parent unlawfully taking a child out of the country in violation of parental responsibility. It is also child abduction when a parent withholds a child illegally abroad following for example a holiday.

Children can be abducted to or from Norway. Unlawful removal of children within the country's borders is not considered child abduction. It is a condition that the child must have crossed at least one national border.

The main aim after a child abduction is to get the child back to the country of habitual residence as quickly as possible. Custody issues or visitation arrangements are outside the scope of child abduction cases, but we can assist you also in these matters.

Mr. Haaheim has extensive experience in helping parents who suddenly find themselves in the middle of a child abduction, and he is also on the Ministry of Justice's list of a handful of Norwegian lawyers with particular expertise in child kidnapping.

The Hague Convention 1980 is an important international agreement that many countries have signed, you can read more about this further down in the text.

The police have an important role in child abductions, because both the child and the abductor can be traced via international police cooperation. Child abduction is also punishable under the Norwegian Penal Code, and is normally punished with relatively severe penalties.

Sometimes the case is resolved by amicable agreements to return with abducted children. We assist in choosing and implementing strategies to bring abducted children home

Services we offer

  • Legal assistance to prevent child abduction.
  • Legal assistance when child abduction has taken place, both from Norway and to Norway.

What results have we achieved?

Here are some of the results we have achieved in child abduction cases to or from Norway:

  • Assisted the mother in getting the child returned from Norway to Finland during legal proceedings in Norway. Mother won in court and her legal costs were covered. The child was returned.
  • Assisted mother in fending off return claims from father in Germany in three courts. Mother had the legal costs covered.
  • Assisted father with the return of children from another Nordic country, father received a judgment for compensation in the criminal case.
  • Assisted father in getting child returned from Norway to Belgium. Father was successful in the district court, the court of appeal and the Supreme Court and also had his legal costs covered.
  • Assisted father in South Africa with return of several children from Norway.
  • Assisted father with the return of children abducted to Poland, father was sentenced for compensation claims in the criminal case.
  • Cooperation with the client's foreign lawyer, assistance during court hearings abroad by physical presence or via video conference.
  • Assistant lawyer in the criminal case, contribution to reporting and proposals for investigative steps for the police.

Do not hesitate to contact us

It is always better to prevent than to repair. Time is a critical factor in child abduction, and we will scramble to act quickly and without delay in these cases. Therefore, contact us as soon as you suspect that your child is at risk of being abducted. It is never too early to intervene. The law has tools that can prevent children from being abducted, and we can also give you practical advice to prevent abduction, based on our long experience with these cases.

If a child is abducted to Norway, the judicial proceedings move relatively quickly, and the Norwegian judiciary has good routines for dealing with child abduction cases. But in the case of child abduction from Norway to another country, the situation may be different. How quickly you get help and how long it takes for the local justice system to take action and return the child can vary greatly depending on the country to which the child is abducted.

The fastest possible reaction is an important factor, both to avoid abduction and to get children returned to the country of habitual residence. It is therefore extremely important that you contact us as soon as you suspect that a child abduction is in progress or may have taken place.

The Hague Convention 1980 on international child abduction

If the child is abducted to a country that has acceded to the 1980 Hague Convention, assistance is provided by the Norwegian authorities through the Directorate of Children and Families (Bufdir). We can assist you with gathering documentation and submitting an application for return. Bufdir sends the request for return to the other country's central authority. Sometimes it is possible to obtain the voluntary return of the child through mediation with the abductor, other times the court in the other country must decide on return.

Child abduction as a criminal matter - search warrant

Child abduction is regarded as a criminal offense. In the Criminal Code, child abduction is referred to as "deprivation of care" - the child is removed from the care of the other parent with parental responsibility.

We can advise and assist if the abduction should be reported to the police. The police can both launch an investigation and search for children and abductors through, for example, Interpol.

The remaining parent then receives the status of "aggrieved", and can be appointed legal counsel in the criminal case at the public's expense.

Get in touch for a free and non-binding answer

Feel free to contact us via the form on our website. We usually respond quickly, and in the case of child abduction, we respond even faster.

Contact Mr Haaheim here