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  • 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
  • HHJ Wildblood QC decided that this heavily anonymised judgment should be released for publication, because it was in the public's interest to see badly wrong things could go in cases of parental alienation. There had been a failure here to identify the problem before the damage was done, and early intervention was essential. Indirect contact was of limited use in such cases. The extent of the children's alienation from the father had been underestimated, and now, following a failed transfer of residence, he had no contact with them at all, and had withdrawn proceedings to prevent further distress. In this hearing HHJ Wildblood QC gave the local authority permission to withdraw their public law proceedings. Judgment, 21/10/2019, free
  • The father applied for the son's care to be transferred from the mother to him, after the son rejected contact. Keehan J was highly critical of the evidence given by the social worker and the NYAS caseworker, accepting instead the report of an expert in the field of parental alienation. He noted that the mother's evidence at times consisted of a diatribe against the father. The mother saw no benefit in the son and father having a relationship, and she had plainly alienated the child against him. The best interests of the child required that a child arrangements order be made, that he should live with his father. Judgment, 17/10/2019, free
  • The mother claimed that her contact with the four children had been severely restricted in Pakistan, and she had not seen them at all since they had travelled to England with the father. She wished to re-establish contact. Sir Andrew McFarlane P found that, contrary to the children's belief, she did not abandon them in Pakistan; she was forced out by their father and his family and then kept away. Those findings of fact would now form the basis upon which the court would consider what steps could be taken to reintroduce her to the lives of her children. Judgment, 02/10/2019, free
  • The father lived in Oman, the children and mother in England. The father was in breach of orders made in Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 proceedings. The mother applied for a child arrangements order to the effect that the children live with her. The court in Oman had ordered that custody of the children should be removed from the mother, despite the father having previously undertaken not to issue proceedings in Oman. Holman J was in no doubt that it was in the best interests of the children to continue to live in England with their mother. There was no possibility of them visiting Oman, due to the risk of them not being returned. Any contact with the father in England would have to occur while he was sober, and in the presence of a third party to prevent abduction. Judgment, 20/09/2019, free

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Latest training

  • Recording of webinar broadcast live on 23 February 2017. Webcast, 02/03/2017, members only
  • In this webcast, which was recorded on 1 September 2016, Charlotte Trace, barrister at 29 Bedford Row, takes us through how to make private law Children Act applications, principally applications under section 8 of the Act (namely for contact, residence, specific issue and prohibited steps orders) and applications under section 11 for contact activity directions and conditions, and for enforcement. Webcast, 02/09/2016, members only
  • Piers Pressdee QC of 29 Bedford Row reviews the major developments within the private children law field in the last year. He focusses on the case-law, identifying the key decisions and seeking to set that case-law within context. Webcast, 24/02/2016, members only
  • Webinar recorded on 15 January 2015. Dafydd Griffiths of 29 Bedford Row reviews the private children law cases of 2014 and picks out some themes to look out for in 2015. Webcast, 15/01/2015, members only
  • Webcast on recent developments in private children law. Webcast, 16/10/2013, members only

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