Family Law Hub

Father v Mother [2020] EWHC 1929 (Fam)

This had been an application, made by the father and resisted by the mother, for the summary return of two girls aged eleven and fourteen to Dubai, but the father conceded that his application should not be granted. Instead, he asked Lieven J to make an order for direct contact with the children, including contact outside the jurisdiction. The issue then became the risk of him retaining the girls in Dubai. The view of the children, as expressed to a Cafcass officer, was that they were happy to travel to Europe with their father, but had concerns about travelling to Dubai with him. Lieven J made a finding that the children were now habitually resident in England. Her view was that it would be exceptionally harmful to their emotional state for them to be retained in Dubai. Safeguards were necessary to mitigate that risk, and to ensure that in such a situation they would be returned to England with relatively little difficulty. An agreement between the parents, setting out their acceptance that the children were habitually resident in England and should be returned there if necessary, should be lodged with the Dubai courts. Once that was done, Lieven J envisaged travel to Dubai as being possible.

Judgment, published: 28/07/2020

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Published: 28/07/2020

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