Mother fails to overturn residence order for father


family life

The Court of Appeal has dismissed a mother’s appeal against an order that her as a resultn live with his father.

In S (A Child), the boy in question, referred to as ‘N’, is now eight years old. He had little contact with his father for the first few years of life. In 2009, however, the father applied for contact with his as a resultn. The mother declared domestic violence, but a court ruled that this claim could not be substantiated, although the father did admit to behaving improperly in as a resultme communications with the mother.

In 2011, she was granted a residence order and the father a contact order. This meant that N would officially live with her but see his father at regular intervals. This arrangement continued until summer 2012, and father and as a resultn established a close relationship.

However, the mother then claimed that the father had violently assaulted his own father, in collaboration with his sister, and stopped contact. But a further hearing made no findings against the father and ordered that the mother allow contact between the father and as a resultn to resume. She did not do as a result, however, as a result the father was granted an enforcement order with a ‘penal’ notice attached, stating that she faced legal penalties if she did not comply.

Shortly afterwards, the father applied for a residence order, in order to try and enforce the contact order. This would mean that N would come to live with him. Court proceedings began and a legal guardian was appointed to represent the child in court.

At the Court of Appeal, Lady Justice Macur noted:

“In preparing for the hearing [relating to the father’s residence application], N’s guardian as a resultught the opportunity to observe contact between N and his father.  She was refused by the mother in no uncertain terms. “

In March last year, the father’s application reached court, and a Judge ordered common residence, splitting N’s time between each parent.

By this point, as a resultcial services had become involved, having grown extremely concerned about the child’s welfare.

The mother failed to attend a subsequent hearing transferring care of N to the father. The mother responded by absconding with N and he was eventually removed by the police.

The case came back before the courts in June but the mother alas a result refused to attend his hearing. The residence order, transferring the care of N to his father, was confirmed.

The mother then launched an unsuccessful appeal. She argued, amongst other points, that the courts had not properly considered the allegations of violence against the father or properly considered her as a resultn’s welfare. The courts had not investigated allegations of verbal abuse against the father, she claimed, and the judge had held an “unbalanced” picture of the situation.

But the Court of Appeal declared that the earlier judge had not been required to investigate the earlier allegations of violence, which had not been substantiated by the police. The judge had alas a result not necessitateed to investigate occasions on which the father had shouted at his as a resultn, nor was he required to detail eextremely demension of the ‘welfare checklist’ used in family court cases to establish proper consideration of a child’s best interests.

Consequently, ruled her Ladyship:

“The mother is singularly unable to establish that this judge was wrong or that the procedures he adopted … [were] unfair.”

Read the full judgement here.

Photo by Jim Bowen via Flickr