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Child Arrangements

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  • This hearing followed on from that in Re C1 and C2 (Child Arrangements) [2019] EWHC B15 (Fam), involving the same father but a different mother. In this hearing, the mother of these two children, aged six and eight, applied to extend an existing s.91(14) order for a period of five years. Keehan J found that the defects in the father's personality and his character were such that he posed a risk of serious emotional and psychological harm to the mother of these two children, as it had been found to do with regards to the mother of the two children in the earlier hearing. A period of two years would be an appropriate one to give the father the chance to make the changes that he needed to make, for his own benefit, and for the benefit of his children. However, Keehan J regretted that, in the absence of further incidents since 2016, there was no legal basis for making or extending a non-molestation order and that application was dismissed. The mother's application for costs was refused. Judgment, 03/01/2020, free
  • The father applied for child arrangements orders in respect of these two children. Pursuant to s.91(14) of the Children Act 1989, the mother applied to prevent the father from making any further Children Act applications without leave of the court. The father was a litigant in person, but also a qualified member of the Bar, and yet his behaviour during the hearing was described by Keehan J as appalling, aggressive, incoherent and intimidating, for example with regard to the expert witness psychologist during cross-examination. This supported the conclusions in her report as to his lack of empathy and narcissistic personality disorder. An order for direct contact would have a devastating impact upon the mother, which would have a serious adverse impact indirectly on the two children. Keehan J was entirely satisfied that it was not in the best interests of either child to have direct contact with the father, and a s.91(14) order was imposed upon him for a period of two years. He was urged to seek professional help. Judgment, 03/01/2020, free
  • In the course of applying for a Child Arrangements Order, the father brought an appeal against a finding of fact regarding the sexual act which led to the birth of the child. He argued that HHJ Scully had been wrong to describe the act as rape. Cobb J was satisfied that HHJ Scully had carefully evaluated the evidence laid before her, and reached conclusions which corresponded with the evidence. The appeal was dismissed. Judgment, 03/12/2019, free
  • The father applied for permission to appeal and for a stay with regards to an interim Child Arrangements Order made in order to permit the mother to take the child on a European holiday. Theis J found that there were grounds for permission to appeal, as a live with order made had not been not before the court as an issue to be determined. But there was minimal risk of the child not returning to this jurisdiction, and the jurisdiction which they were visiting had effective procedures in place that would swiftly ensure the child's return if required, which Theis J considered unlikely. Judgment, 02/12/2019, free
  • The father applied for a transfer of residence, stating that his relationship with the children, aged 10 and 11, would constantly be thwarted if they remained with their mother. The mother had covertly recorded various meetings, including one between the children and the Guardian. The creation and modification dates of documents did not align with the dates on which she claimed to have supplied the documents. HHJ Bedford was also satisfied that she had deliberately misled education professionals involved in the children's lives, perpetuating allegations which had been tried and dismissed by the judiciary. Her interference in their relationship with their father had caused them emotional harm and would continue to do so, as long as she parented them solely. During an interval at court, and being aware of HHJ Bedford's findings, the parents agreed to share the care of the children on alternating fortnights, and the Guardian endorsed this plan. HHJ Bedford thus made a suspended residence order: complete transfer of residence to the father would take place only if the mother defaulted from their agreement. Judgment, 02/12/2019, free

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