Family Law Hub

Child Abduction and Custody Act 1985

Statute, published: 31/12/1984

Items referring to this

  • Proceedings brought by the applicant father in respect of his daughter for summary return to Italy pursuant to the provisions of the Child Abduction and Custody Act 1985. It was his case that the child was habitually resident in Italy at the time of her removal from Hungary to the United Kingdom. Judgment, 16/06/2015, free
  • Judgment, 24/08/2012, members only
  • Here the Turkish court had made an order in the father’s (“F”) favour – albeit one based on a misconception that the mother (“M”) had chosen to live with her new husband in Turkey and had abandoned the children to her parents in England (M was in fact living in England and caring for the children here). As Turkey is not a signatory to the Hague Convention nor is it a member of the EU, it was left to F to use the “relatively underused” European Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Decisions Concerning Custody of Children and on Restoration on Custody of Children (it is an instrument of the Council of Europe of which Turkey is a member state). The Convention has the force of law in the UK to the extent provided for in s.12 and Schedule 2 Child Abduction and Custody Act 1985. Finding that a decision should not be made and implemented where that decision is based on a mistaken proposition, Holman J dismissed F’s application for recognition and enforcement of the Turkish order. Judgment, 29/10/2014, free
  • Application by mother, resident in Mexico, for return of her 15 year old daughter under the Hague Convention. Cobb J concludes that the child objected, and was of an age and maturity where he should take account of her views, but nevertheless uses his discretion to order her return. Judgment, 09/09/2014, free
  • Judgment by the President in child abduction case raising 2 points of general importance: 1) what powers the court has to compel third parties to secure return of an abducted child where they do not have parental responsibility or control over the child and; 2) the role, powers and proper basis for making orders concerning non-subject children in such proceedings Judgment, 20/06/2014, free
  • Judgment, 11/12/2012, free
  • A Hague Convention 1980 case which provides a useful reminder for the threshold of some of the various defences (consent, child’s objections and exposure to an unacceptable or intolerable risk of physical or psychological harm). All defences were rejected and a return order made. Judgment, 05/06/2014, free
  • Application pursuant to the Child Abduction and Custody Act 1985 and the 1980 Hague Convention for an order for the summary return of two children to the jurisdiction of Hungary. The application was dismissed. Judgment, 01/02/2018, free
  • Parties who were in contempt of court for failing to disclose the whereabouts of the M and child in this widely publicised child abduction case were released from custody after the M's employer contacted the court with her contact details. Judgment, 13/11/2013, free
  • Application by mother under the Child Abduction and Custody Act for summary return of children to Germany. Here, the English courts hands were tied in relation to a father’s (“F”) attempt to defend an order that he return his two children to Germany. The German courts had already declared that they were seised of welfare proceedings and that the children were habitually resident in Germany. Even if the English court came to a different conclusion, it was open to the mother (“M”) to seek a return order pursuant to Brussels II Revised in Germany and then enforce it in England. Judgment, 11/07/2014, free
  • Child aged 15 was joined as a party to proceedings in which mother was seeking a summary return to the US as she claimed that he had been wrongfully retained in the UK by his father. Judgment, 22/03/2016, free
  • An order for the return of the child to Romania was made after the judge rejected the father's contention that the mother had agreed for her to live with him in the UK. Judgment, 15/05/2017, free
  • An application by the mother of an abducted child to commit the uncle of the child to prison was struck out due to a procedural irregularity in the form of the Collection Order served on him where a penal notice in the required language was not prominently displayed on the front page. Judgment, 22/09/2015, free
  • Sir Peter Singer's High Court judgment in which he has to grapple with 2 novel issues in a case involving proceedings in the UK and America. The M had brought the child to the UK after the American court ruled that he was habitually resident in the UK. This was subsequently overturned and the M ordered to return the child to F in America. The main issues were: 1) did the decision of the US court have the consequence of rendering the removal ''wrongful'' for the purposes of Article 3 of the Hague Convention?; 2) If the removal of the child was not ''wrongful'', then did the US appellate decision and the consequential US order requiring the mother to return the child mean that she had wrongfully retained the child away from the USA? Or was the child's habitual residence in England? Judgment, 11/09/2013, free
  • The court had to determine whether it had jurisdiction to hear an application under the Children Act 1989 in respect of two children. The father, the applicant, contended that the court had jurisdiction on one of two grounds: (1) that at the date on which proceedings were started the children were habitually resident in England and Wales and that, as a result, this court had jurisdiction under Article 8 of BIIA, or alternatively (2) that the children were wrongfully removed from England and Wales to Latvia at a point when they were habitually resident here, that the father had neither consented to nor acquiesced in their removal, and that as a result this court had jurisdiction under Article 10 of BIIA. Judgment, 08/02/2017, free
  • A wrongful removal case where the mother had taken the child to Wales without the permission of the Italian court or the father. Her appeal here was against a refusal to allow her to instruct an adult psychiatrist as an expert and against the order for return. The appeal on ground 1 was dismissed on the basis that the material before the court simply failed to establish that such an instruction was "necessary". The appeal against the order for return also failed. Judgment, 13/03/2014, free
  • An order was made that the children be returned to Israel but it would not take effect until 15 days after the promulgation by the First-tier Tribunal of its decision on the appeal by the mother and the children against the refusal of the grant of asylum by the Home Secretary. Judgment, 15/09/2017, free
  • Application by father for the return to Dublin of his son who lived with him there from about December 2011 until he went to but did not return from agreed staying contact with his mother in London. Judgment, 14/03/2016, free
  • The issue on this appeal was whether the child, who was the daughter of an Italian father and a Latvian mother, should be returned to Italy (which is agreed to have been her country of habitual residence at the relevant time) following her wrongful abduction from Italy to England by her mother in February 2016. The appeal was allowed. Judgment, 31/10/2017, free
  • Judgment, 29/05/2012, free
  • Application pursuant to the Child Abduction and Custody Act 1985 and the 1980 Hague Convention for an order for the summary return of two children to the USA. A return order was made. Judgment, 23/05/2017, free
  • Judgment, 02/12/2012, free
  • Father's application under the 1980 Hague Convention seeking summary return of his son to the USA succeeded. Judgment, 20/07/2018, free
  • The 4 children and M were Spanish nationals, F was English. M took the children back to Spain. After a few months they came back to the UK with F who did not return them to Spain. An order was made for their return which was resisted especially by the older child. The order in her case was overturned but the case of the other 3 children was remitted to the High Court. Discussion of the joinder of the children as parties. Judgment, 03/10/2013, free
  • In brief: Although these Hague Convention proceedings had been adjourned to allow the mother (“M”) to resolve her immigration status in the US, the time had come to fix the case for a hearing even those issues were still alive. Judgment, 06/08/2018, free
  • A Hague Convention case where the M asserted that the child did not have to be returned to F in her habitual residence, which was Latvia, because the F was not her biological father. The judge had ordered the instruction of an expert in Latvian law to ascertain whether or not a non-biological father had custody rights in Latvia, and at the same time permitted the M to carry out a paternity test. It was ruled that the paternity test was premature and that part of the judge's order was discharged. Judgment, 18/09/2013, free
  • Mother's application under the 1980 Hague Convention for the return of the child to Canada, from where it was alleged the child has been wrongfully retained. The court ruled that the child was not habitually resident in Canada immediately before or at the time of the alleged wrongful retention but was habitually resident in England. In light of this finding the mother's claim failed. Judgment, 24/01/2017, free
  • Parents and two children, S and M, lived in Australia. After the marriage broke down, parents agreed to live in the US. Mother took S to the US, father took M for a holiday in Thailand, then went to the UK with her. He then refused to move to the US with M, saying that if there was an order made under the Hague Convention, that she should return to Australia with him. The court ruled that it would be utterly absurd and wholly contrary to the interests of M for the court to direct that she be returned to Australia, where there were no family members or family home, where the father would have no employment and, most importantly, the mother and S would not be there. The court was in no doubt that the Convention, properly interpreted, enabled them to order that M should be returned to the US. Judgment, 11/10/2013, free
  • Judgment, 26/06/2012, free
  • Judgment, 02/07/2012, free
  • Judgment, 04/12/2012, free
  • An application by the husband for an order granting permission to appeal the order of a Deputy District Judge whereby he stayed the wife's divorce proceedings but excepted from that stay her application for a Legal Services Payment Order. Mr Justice Mostyn gave permission for the appeal and allowed it, saying that by the terms of FPR 2010 rule 9.7(1) an application for an LSPO is for an interim order, just as is an application for an order for maintenance pending suit. Such an application is dependent for its existence and validity on the continuance of the main suit. If the main suit is stayed then all subsidiary ancillary applications for financial relief are stayed, and a fortiori all applications and orders for interim relief, whether for maintenance pending suit or an LSPO. Judgment, 10/03/2014, free
  • Father's application for the return of his daughter to France after she was wrongfully removed by the mother to England. The application was granted. Judgment, 27/05/2016, free
  • Case note, 14/05/2008, members only
  • Application by father under the Child Abduction and Custody Act 1985 for return of his son to Poland. The mother acknowledged she had abducted the child but alleged serious abuse as her defence though no such allegations had been made in ongoing Polish proceedings. Return ordered subject to undertakings put forward by the father. Judgment, 04/05/2017, free
  • Father's application for return of his child to Malta under the Child Abduction and Custody Act 1985. Mostyn J dismisses the application and also sets out a useful review of the principles involved. Judgment, 27/11/2014, free
  • Mother's Art.13(b) defence (grave risk of harm/intolerability) was made out and the father's application for summary return of the child from England to Ireland was refused. Judgment, 04/08/2017, free
  • As part of the father's (“F”) application for a return order, a pre-trial review was ordered. At that hearing, the mother’s (“M”) attempt to strike out F’s application on the basis of delay was dismissed with Baker J commenting "it is generally inappropriate for the courts in this country to entertain an application to strike out a summary application under the Convention, save in the exceptional circumstances illustrated by… Re G". M’s application to instruct an expert psychologist to support her Article 13(b) defence was also dismissed with Baker J saying "it is generally inappropriate for the court to embark upon seeking expert psychological evidence to support a case advanced against a summary return on applications under the Convention". Judgment, 17/02/2016, free
  • Judgment, 04/04/2007, free
  • Judgment, 18/11/2012, free
  • Case note, 05/12/2012, free
  • Judgment, 29/10/2012, free

Published: 31/12/1984

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