Family Law Hub

Z v Y [2013] EWHC 3381 (Fam)

Case involving Father who was seeking his daughter's return under the Hague Convention. Much of the judgment was concerned with the child's wishes, which were vehemently against a return, but a return order was made.

  • In brief: When the mother ("M") and father's ("F") relationship ended, M took their only child to England. F sought the child's return under the Hague Convention, offering various undertakings and financial incentives. By the time of this hearing, the child was 13 years old.  

    M principally opposed the return on two grounds:-

    • their child objected to returning to F and her home country - the child was interviewed by CAFCASS and had a lengthy meeting with the judge. Mrs Justice Parker accepted that the child was objecting and was of an age and a degree of maturity that it was appropriate to take her view into account. The judge spent considerable time analysing the child's views and her reasons for objecting to a return. The judge considered that the child was very confused. Although she was able to express herself maturely, her reasons for objecting to a return were shifting and irrational. Many of her reasons were at odds with other reliable sources; and 
    • the article 13(b) defence - M asserted that she and the child would be subject to financial hardship if they were forced to return as well as the effect on the child of having her wishes overridden being intolerable. Here, the judge did not consider that the latter amounted to an article 13(b) defence. In relation to financial hardship the burden of proof was on M who had not established why the maintenance proposed by F was so low as to create a grave risk. 

    Parker J concluded that it was in the child's interests to return to her home country and her return was ordered.

Case note, published: 18/02/2014

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See also

  • Case involving Father who was seeking his daughter's return under the Hague Convention. Much of the judgment was concerned with the child's wishes, which were vehemently against a return, but a return order was made. Judgment, 18/12/2013, free

Published: 18/02/2014

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