Family Law Hub

Re P (Discharge of Passport Order) [2020] EWHC 3009 (Fam)

The mother was a Bulgarian national with indefinite leave to remain, and was currently in Bulgaria with the two-year-old daughter. She was prevented from bringing the daughter back to England by an order of the Bulgarian court. The father had dual Bulgarian and British nationality and was in London. The central issue before the court, in what was described as "somewhat chaotic litigation", was whether a passport order should be discharged, but the court also considered the mother's application for committal of the father, and the issue of whether the English court or the Bulgarian court had jurisdiction regarding the daughter. Cobb J directed that the father's British passport should be returned to him forthwith. The father was directed to execute all necessary documents and travel consents to ensure that the mother was forthwith able to return the daughter to the jurisdiction of England and Wales. The committal order was dismissed; in Cobb J's view it was destined to fail. The case would be listed for further directions on the issue of habitual residence and jurisdiction once the International Family Justice Office had indicated whether it was able to establish the status of the proceedings in the Bulgarian courts.

Judgment, published: 11/11/2020

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Published: 11/11/2020

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