Family Law Hub

M v G (Hague Convention: Article 13(b) defence) [2020] EWHC 1450 (Fam)

The son had travelled to the United Kingdom with the mother for a three-month stay, with the father's consent. When they did not return the father made an application under the Hague Convention 1980. The mother relied upon the defence under Article 13(b), alleging domestic violence and drug use. It was agreed that the mother had retained the son here at a time when he was habitually resident in Australia and that this retention breached the father's custody rights. Theis J did not doubt that if the mother returned to the Australia with the child she would suffer emotional distress and mental anguish, but her pre-existing depressive and anxious tendencies would be a reality of her life wherever she was and could not be solely or mainly linked to a return to Australia. The issues raised did not, in Theis J's judgment, meet the threshold in Article 13(b). She was satisfied that the protective measures agreed would be able to mitigate any harm. She would order that the son should return to Australia, on a date to be fixed once current travel restrictions were lifted.


Published: 21/06/2020

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