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Relocation

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  • The son had been the subject of litigation between his mother and his father in both India and England. The mother sought an order for the child to live with her in England, the father that the child live with him in India. The Guardian supported the mother's proposal. Williams J stated that the father's proposal was fundamentally undermined by the lack of any realistic means of implementing it in the short to medium term. The mother's proposal would best promote the child's welfare. The child would therefore live with the mother and spend time with the father in England, but he would not be allowed to travel to India with either parent until such time as a mirror order was in place there and all Indian litigation over him had ceased. Judgment, 17/03/2020, free
  • The mother applied for permission to relocate the daughter permanently to Kazakhstan, the mother’s home country. The legal test to be applied was the principle of the paramountcy of the child's best interests. Mostyn J's conclusion was that the mother's application was premature, and should not be granted before an internal relocation to London had been tried. He also ordered that the case be transferred back to the Family Court, the circumstances having not justified its transfer to the High Court. Judgment, 27/11/2019, free
  • The children lived in England with their mother, an English journalist, and had regular and extended contact with their father, a Dutch government worker. The father applied to relocate the children to the Netherlands. Both were described as exceptional parents by the CAFCASS officer, who thus made no recommendation either way. HHJ Moradifar found both parents charming, intelligent and focused on their children's welfare, which was the paramount consideration. A lack of justification for interference with the current living arrangements led to the husband's application being dismissed, but the judge made a "joint live with order" that the children should live with their father during substantial parts of the holidays. Judgment, 12/11/2019, free
  • The mother appealed against an order that she pay £109,394 in respect of the father's costs of a previous appeal. She had dropped that previous appeal after an attempt to bribe a Russian police officer (to instigate criminal charges against the father) led to her imprisonment. King LJ found that the judge had the jurisdiction to make the order for costs, and had made a decision within the ambit of his discretion. However, counsels' fees were unreasonable, and the appeal was allowed on that ground. The sum to be paid was reduced to £78,144. Underhill LJ and Moylan LJ agreed. Judgment, 22/07/2019, free
  • The father applied for the summary return to Germany of his two-year-old daughter, after the mother did not bring her back from a holiday. However, the father had not applied in the German courts for custody or contact, nor had the mother applied for custody, and Mostyn J criticised them for instead "devoting all their forensic energy to fighting this procedural battle". He found that the father had acquiesced in Article 13.1(a) terms to the daughter's continued living in the UK, and it would be precipitate to order her summary return before the matter had been brought before a German court. Judgment, 03/06/2019, free

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