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Children

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  • An order had been made transferring the boy's home to that of his father in Northern Ireland, because maintaining the placement with his mother and grandmother would cause him emotional harm. The situation did not rise to the level of parental alienation, but the child was unable to speak positively of his father in the maternal home. The mother appealed, arguing that there had been procedural irregularity, the decision to transfer residence was premature, and the conclusions on the balance of harm were wrong or insufficiently evidenced. Sir Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family Division, found that none of the challenges made on her behalf had been sustained. The appeal was dismissed. Judgment, 09/05/2019, free
  • Latest update gives details on the Public and Private Law Working Groups, a financial remedy court update, divorce service centres and the HMCTS Reform Programme. News, 09/05/2019, free
  • The father sought an order for the summary return of the daughter to Israel. The mother claimed that this would subject the daughter to a grave risk of exposure to physical or psychological harm or otherwise place her in an intolerable situation. MacDonald J disagreed. Asked to consider previous findings involving the same father, he said that the court should be cautious about importing judicial observations made in the context of a different relationship and factual framework. He considered that the mother's actions constituted a premeditated and blatant act of child abduction, intended to circumvent the due process of the Israeli courts, and ordered the daughter's summary return in time for the new school term. Judgment, 08/05/2019, free
  • The mother made an application under the Hague Convention for the return of the son to New Zealand. The father had expressed concerns about the child's well-being in his mother's care. Darren Howe QC had to proceed on the basis that there was a risk of harm, but he noted that there had been improvements in the mother's parenting, and accepted her undertaking to prevent contact between her partner and the child. The father had not proved a grave risk of harm or an otherwise intolerable situation for the son and the defence therefore failed. An order would be made for the return of the son to New Zealand. Judgment, 08/05/2019, free
  • The mother challenged the recognition of a Dubai divorce, because she sought to vest the courts of England and Wales with jurisdiction to make orders in respect of the child. Moylan LJ found that the judge had conducted an extensive analysis of the evidence, and the analysis had not been shown to be partial or to give insufficient weight to the mother's situation. The judge was entitled to decide that the mother had had "a full opportunity to participate" in the process, and that the recognition of the Dubai divorce should not be refused. Baker LJ agreed. Judgment, 08/05/2019, free

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