Family Law Hub

Children

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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
  • The grandfather's application for a child arrangements order had been dismissed. He appealed that decision. HHJ Ahmed allowed the appeal. The first instance judge had applied the wrong criteria. The application had been dealt with as a substantive application, rather than an application for permission to issue the substantive application, and findings of fact had been incorrectly made. Robust case management has a place in family proceedings, HHJ Ahmed said, but it has its limits. The application for permission to apply for a child arrangements order would be listed before a different district judge. Judgment, 02/11/2019, free
  • The wife applied to strike out the husband's claim for damages in respect of deceit. She had misled him into thinking that he was the biological father of their child. Cohen J's view was that the tort of deceit could exist between husband and wife, but he did not make a concluded finding on that issue. He was of the clear view that there were no reasonable grounds for bringing the claim, and, given that financial remedy proceedings were ongoing, it was an abuse of the court's process. The deceit proceedings were struck out. Judgment, 30/10/2019, 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

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