I believe my child is living in the UK, but I do not know where. What can I do?
If you are part of ongoing proceedings relating to a Section 8 order, or you do not know where your child lives but wish to apply for an Order to see them, you can ask the Court to make an Order. There are situations where extended family members may know where the child is living but this information has been withheld, in this scenario, you can seek an Order against a person who knows the child’s whereabouts, to disclose the child’s address. Emergency Orders, can be applied for, where there are concerns that if the other party finds out about the whereabouts Order being requested, that the child may be moved.
How does the process work?
Should your application be granted and the Order made by the Court, the Court will direct the Department of Work and Pensions and HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) to disclose the address where the individual is residing , (often the parent who claims Child Benefit) and then the Court will then serve the individual with the Court application and any Orders made, with notice of a Court hearing.
The person who is named within the Order must make available to the Court all information that they have about where the child may be located within the UK. Any breach of the Order may be deemed as contempt of Court which can result in a custodial sentence or a fine. The person named within the Order can apply to have the order discharged or changed.
What happens once the Court has the information?
Any information discovered as a result of the Order about where the child lives within the UK will be given only to the Court in the first instance.
Once the Court has the information, the Court will decide what can be done with it and how to progress; each case will be dealt with on an individual basis and dependent on a number of factors, including the child’s age, any safeguarding issues or concerns and any other issues relevant to the situation. It’s important to understand that no information will be disclosed to you without express permission from the Court.
How we can help?
Our team of experienced family law solicitors are able to help you make where necessary, urgent applications to Court, to locate your child’s whereabouts and progress your case so you can seek the appropriate long term Orders for your child to have and maintain a parental / active role in your child’s upbringing .