CONTACT/ JURISDICTION: AP v TD [2010] EWHC 2040 (Fam)

04 NOV 2010

(Family Division; Parker J; 18 October 2010)

The father consented to the mother relocating to Canada. The mother agreed that issues of contact were to be dealt with by the English court. The mother unilaterally and ex parte obtained a Canadian order varying contact. The father applied in England to enforce the English orders, and for residence order and a return order. The mother argued that although the English court had jurisdiction, it should not exercise it and should stay proceedings. The English judge's liaison with Canadian judges enabled clarification of some issues, and in particular enabled the father to challenge the ex parte order in Canada.   

Where it had been recorded in a consent order for the mother's relocation to Canada that issues of contact would be dealt with by the English Court, the court had jurisdiction under Art 12.3 of Brussels II Revised. The mother could not unilaterally withdraw her acceptance of that by the issue of fresh proceedings in Canada. Parental responsibility was indivisible and acceptance of jurisdiction in relation to one aspect of parental responsibility was to be taken as acceptance in relation to parental responsibility generally. It was in the children's interests now for the issue of contact to be determined by the English court, but at a later stage it might be in their interests for other aspects of parental responsibility to be dealt with in Canada - this was a rolling consideration.

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