Family Law Hub

M (A Child: Hague Convention) [2020] EWHC 3340 (Fam)

Both parents were Polish nationals. Their brief relationship ended before the child, now eight, was born. The mother brought the child to England in 2018, and they had lived here since. The father applied for a return order under the Hague Convention 1980. Issues to be determined included the date of retention, the date of habitual residence, whether the father had acquiesced to the move, whether the child was settled, whether an article 13(b) defence could be established, whether the child objected to a return, and whether the court should exercise its discretion not to order a return. Poole J found the evidence of both parents unsatisfactory and evasive, and gave more weight to the contemporaneous evidence available. The child had continued to be habitually resident in England. His visit to Poland had been temporary, and thus the Hague Convention had no application to the mother then bringing him back to England. The father's application was dismissed. If the Hague Convention had applied, the court would have exercised its discretion to not order the child's return: he clearly objected to returning to Poland, and the father had acquiesced to him remaining in England.


Published: 08/12/2020

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