Family Law Hub

Wardship

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  • In wardship proceedings, the mother alleged that she and the children (aged 8, 4 and 3) had been victims of transnational abandonment. This was denied by the father, whose case was that the parties had made a consensual decision to relocate as family to Pakistan. He contended that the courts of England and Wales did not have jurisdiction in respect of the children; alternatively, that they should not exercise any jurisdiction because welfare decisions could more conveniently be made in Pakistan. Circumstances meant that the case had to be adjourned, but Mr Richard Harrison QC, sitting as a deputy High Court judge, considered the situation as it stood to be one in which the children were likely to be suffering from emotional harm. It was not tolerable for them to continue to be separated from their parents. It was clear to him that the essence of the mother's case was likely to be correct. The removal of the children to Pakistan had been procured on the basis of a deception, and was thus in breach of the mother's rights of custody, and a wrongful removal for the purposes of Article 10 of Brussels IIa. Having been the primary carer throughout the children's lives, the mother was the person best placed to meet the children's emotional needs. He ordered their immediate return to this jurisdiction. Judgment, 25/09/2020, free
  • Father's application for children to be made wards of court and for summary return of them to Nigeria. Application successful as the judge found that their welfare would be better served by determination in Nigeria. Judgment, 12/12/2018, free
  • Application, among others, to make two children, born under a surrogacy agreement, wards of court in circumstances where no parental order had been made transferring parental responsibility from the surrogate parents and child arrangements needed to be settled after the mother with care remarried. Judgment, 26/06/2018, free
  • An unsuccessful application by a father (“F”) to return the child to Iran in circumstances where F was found to be controlling and manipulative and not to be trusted to encourage the relationship between the child and mother (“M”). There was no prospect of safeguards being agreed; and no prospect of even the beginnings of those safeguards being implemented; there was no safeguard that anything the English courts imposed carrying weight; but there was a significant and real prospect that F, once he had achieved his objective of the return of the child to Iran, would set about frustrating the safeguards which had been put in place to achieve that end. Judgment, 12/12/2017, free
  • Mother was objecting to the renewal of British passports for her 3 daughters who were wrongfully removed by the father to Australia over 10 years ago and two of whom were still wards of court. Her main concern was that if their British passports were renewed, they may disappear again with the father to a different country. The court extended both the children's wardship and the order restraining renewal of the British passports for a period of one month, that being a sufficient period to enable the mother to apply to the Australian court to prevent the children from leaving Australia. Judgment, 16/03/2017, free

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