Family Law Hub

AL v SM [2020] EWHC 2479 (Fam)

An application by the father for the summary return of the daughter to Slovakia. The mother resisted summary return on the grounds that the daughter was settled in the United Kingdom, that the father had acquiesced in her removal, that the defence of intolerability under Article 13(b) applied, and that the father had not exercised rights of custody (the latter ground being dropped in the course of the hearing). The parents had not been married to each other. The father had last seen the child in January 2017, when the mother broke all contact with him. She moved to the United Kingdom in September 2017, in order, she told the court, to escape the father's intimidation of her. The father took no action to re-establish contact between January 2017 and January 2019, when he contacted his Slovakian lawyer. Lieven J had no doubt that the child was settled in England and Wales within the terms of the law and the Hague Convention, and happy here. She would not exercise her discretion to return the daughter; it would not be in her interests to return. Contact was a matter that could be properly considered by the English courts.


Published: 24/09/2020

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