Family Law Hub

Children's Wishes

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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
  • 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 court concluded that the child was not of sufficient understanding to conduct an appeal, in relation to who she lived with, without a children's Guardian. Judgment, 19/03/2019, free
  • An anticipatory child arrangements order was made in favour of the father, despite the child wishing to return to live with the mother, in circumstances where the child was being held under the Mental Health Act and the mother was bedbound. Judgment, 24/05/2017, free
  • After several breaches of court orders and a failure by the father, and then the mother, to attend court, the judge ruled that the wishes of the 2 children, who had been taken to Iraq by the father, should be ascertained in advance of a further hearing. Judgment, 17/05/2017, free

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