|[Home] [Databases] [World Law] [Multidatabase Search] [Help] [Feedback]|
England and Wales High Court (Family Division) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales High Court (Family Division) Decisions >> A (A Child : permission to permanently relocate)  EWHC 2691 (Fam) (23 September 2016)
Cite as:  EWHC 2691 (Fam)
[New search] [Context] [View without highlighting] [Printable RTF version] [Help]
B e f o r e :
(Sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High Court)
|- and -|
(a trading name of Opus 2 International Limited)
Official Court Reporters and Audio Transcribers
25 Southampton Buildings, London WC2A 1AL
Tel: 020 7831 5627 Fax: 020 7831 7737
MR. A. BAGCHI QC (instructed by Dawson Cornwell) appeared on behalf of the Respondent.
Crown Copyright ©
JUDGE GARETH JONES:
The plans/proposals of the parents
The legal provisions to be applied
"(i) The only authentic principle to be applied when determining an application to relocate a child permanently overseas is that the welfare of the child is paramount and overbears all other considerations, however powerful and reasonable they might be.
(ii) The guidance given by the Court of Appeal as to the factors to be weighed in search of the welfare paramountcy, and which directs the exercise of the welfare discretion, is valuable. Such guidance helps the judge to identify which factors are likely to be the most important and the weight which should generally be attached to them, and, incidentally, promotes consistency in decision-making.
(iii) The guidance is not confined to classic primary carer applications and may be utilised in other kinds of relocation cases if the judge thinks it helpful and appropriate to do so.
(iv) The guidance suggests that the following questions be asked and answered (assuming that the applicant is the mother):
(a) Is the mother's application genuine in the sense that it is not motivated by some selfish desire to exclude the father from the child's life?
(b) Is the mother's application realistically founded on practical proposals both well researched and investigated?
(c) What would be the impact on the mother, either as the single parent or as a new wife, of a refusal of her realistic proposal?
(d) Is the father's opposition motivated by genuine concern for the future of the child's welfare or is it driven by some ulterior motive?
(e) What would be the extent of the detriment to him and his future relationship with the child were the application granted?
(f) To what extent would that detriment be offset by extension of the child's relationships with the maternal family and homeland?
(v) Since the circumstances in which such decisions have to be made vary infinitely and the judge in each case has to be free to decide whatever is in the best interests of the child, such guidance should not be applied rigidly as if it contains principles from which no departure is permitted.
(vi) There is no legal principle, let alone some legal or evidential presumption, in favour of an application to relocate by a primary carer. The old statements which seem to favour applications to relocate made by primary carers are no more than a reflection of the reality of the human condition and the parent-child relationship.
(vii) The hearing must not get mired in taxonomical arguments or preliminary skirmishes as to what label should be applied to the case by virtue of either the time spent with each of the parents or other aspects of the care arrangements."
The oral evidence
The outcomes advanced