Family Law Hub

WS v KL [2020] EWHC 2548 (Fam)

An appeal by the father against an order granting permission for the mother to remove their two daughters permanently from the jurisdiction of England and Wales to live in Hong Kong, where both parents had been born. He appealed on the grounds that the judge had (a) failed to adjourn the final hearing and had instead proceeded by remote video hearing; (b) made a decision which was wrong and contrary to the best interests of the children; (c) failed to provide for a mid-week overnight visit with the father in term times; and (d) been wrong not to order the mother to ensure that the children had contact with the father when he was able to travel to Hong Kong. Ground (a) was withdrawn. As to ground (b), Knowles J, while recognising that the judgment had been made ex tempore, found that the judge had not undertaken an analysis of the welfare factors relating to each of the options, such as the possibility of the children remaining in the UK. Consideration of the contact arrangements between the father and the children on relocation to Hong Kong was absent from the judge's analysis. The father's appeal was allowed, and the children would remain in the United Kingdom until the rehearing had taken place, with contact continuing as previously ordered.

Judgment, published: 28/09/2020

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Published: 28/09/2020

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