FAQ

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about international child abduction.

There are various things that you can do. You can apply for sole custody of the child, for example, or you can apply for a condition of passport depositing during access with the other parent. If you are the parent with whom the child reside, you can apply for a limitation or a repeal of the other parent's right to travel with the child. In that case, you must contact the Agency of Family Law.

Contact the Agency of Family Law

As long as you do not disagree on who is to have custody, you are both entitled to take the child abroad without it being a case of abduction. However, it depends on whether the State Administration/Agency of Family Law or the court has decided otherwise.

If you disagree about custody, you are not allowed to go abroad without the other parent’s consent. However, you may apply to the Agency of Family Law for permission to go abroad with the child.

Contact the Agency of Family Law

If you are the parent with whom the child reside, you can apply for a limitation or a repeal of the other parent's right to travel with the child. In that case, you must contact the Agency of Family Law.

Contact the Agency of Family Law

Yes, you are. When you have sole custody, you are entitled to determine where your child is to stay, including in which country.

 

No, the other parent is not allowed to do so unless the State Administration/Agency of Family Law has made a decision allowing the other parent to exercise rights of access abroad. However, the other parent is allowed to go to the Nordic countries with the child for access.

You may for instance ask the Agency of Family Law to impose a condition of passport depositing or a condition of supervised access. If you are the parent with whom the child reside, you can apply for a limitation or a repeal of the other parent's right to travel with the child. In this case, you must contact the Agency of Family Law.

Contact the Agency of Family Law

If you and the other parent have a decision on rights of access from the State Administration/Agency of Family Law or an agreement enforceable by the bailiff’s court, you should contact the bailiff’s court. The bailiff’s court can help you get the child back if the other parent does not observe the agreement/decision.

If you have made an oral agreement, or you have a written agreement that is unenforceable, the bailiff’s court cannot help in making the other parent return the child. Instead, you should contact the Agency of Family Law and apply to have custody transferred to you or ask for a decision on rights of access that is enforceable.

You can find more information under the subject page Not returned from access

You can find information about the determination or modification of rights of access at the website of the Agency of Family Law

You can find the nearest bailiff's court at domstol.dk

 

You can contact the embassy or consulate of the relevant country in Denmark and ask to be informed whether a passport has been issued to the child. You should draw attention in writing to the fact that you will not consent to the child’s departure from Denmark or to the issue of a passport to the child.

 

If there is an acute risk that the child is about to leave Denmark without your consent, you should contact the police at phone number (+45) 114.

If the risk is not acute, you may do the following:

  • Tell the child’s day-care institution, school, etc., to contact you if anything unusual happens, or if the child is collected by the other parent or others without any agreement with you
  • Make sure that you have the child’s personal papers in your possession
  • You could apply to the Agency of Family Law for a modification of custody or rights of access
  • Always make sure that you have a recent photo of the child, the child’s certificate of baptism or birth and proof that you have sole or joint custody. 

For contact to the Danish police, go to politi.dk

Contact the Agency of Family Law

 

 

If the country to which your child has been abducted cooperates with Denmark under a convention, the Child Abduction Unit can help you apply to have the child returned. If the country has not entered into cooperation with Denmark under a convention, the Child Abduction Unit in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can help you.

If you try to bring the child home yourself, it may be considered a new case of child abduction by the authorities in the country where the child is now. Therefore, you should contact the Child Abduction Unit for advice and guidance if your child has been abducted.

That varies from case to case. If the child has been abducted to a country with which Denmark cooperates under the Hague Convention, the child must be returned as quickly as possible. In principle, a case on return must be decided within six weeks after the application for return was submitted to the court. If no decision has been made, the court may be requested to give an explanation of the reason why.

Sometimes it may take time because of difficulties finding the alleged abductor and the child, or because the case must be heard by the court. It depends on the court procedure of the individual country how long it takes to conduct a case before the court.

In that situation, you should contact the Child Abduction Unit, who, in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, can help you. 

The police are not able to collect your child from the other parent and take the child home to you. The courts in the country to which the child has been abducted have jurisdiction to decide whether a child should be returned or not. However, the police can help the central authorities or the courts by listing the alleged abductor and the child as missing persons.  

You can find more information under the subjects The child has been taken abroadThe Ministry for Children and Social Affairs as the Central Authority, Contact the police and The Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In principle, you have to pay all expenses for a lawyer both in Denmark and abroad yourself. However, various financial schemes make it possible for you to apply for financial assistance. First, check whether you have a private household insurance policy with cover for expenses related to legal proceedings. If you have no insurance cover, you can apply for free legal aid in the country to which your child has been abducted. If you do not meet the financial conditions for free legal representation abroad, you can apply for legal aid to the Ministry for Children and Social Affairs.

You are free to choose any lawyer to support you during a child abduction case. A number of lawyers considered particularly suited to conduct child abduction cases have been appointed by the Ministry of Children and Social Affairs. The lawyers are appointed according to certain criteria, including comprehensive knowledge of family law and litigation experience.

Go to the list of appointed lawyers

No, it is your decision whether or not to contact a lawyer. It varies from case to case whether legal assistance is necessary. In many cases, it may be an advantage to seek assistance from a lawyer.

If your child has been abducted abroad, the Central Authority or the courts of the country to which the child has been abducted will normally help you to contact a lawyer who can conduct the case for you before the foreign court.

Please note that in principle you have to pay the expenses for legal assistance yourself.

Go to the subject page 'Financial assistance' for more information