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10 AUG 2011

PERMISSION TO REMOVE: K v K (Relocation: Shared Care Arrangement) [2011] EWCA Civ 793

(Court of Appeal; Thorpe, Moore-Bick and Black LJJ; 7 July 2011)

A Canadian mother sought permission to relocate.The family was established in England which was where the children were born. After the divorce a shared residence order was made. Both parents worked part-time to enable them to spend more time with the children. The children's time was divided between the mother and the Polish father. Every 14 days 6 days/5 nights were spent with the father and 8 days/9 nights were spent with the mother. Work schedules meant that the children spent all their time with the father being cared for by him and some of the time with the mother being cared for by a nanny. Cafcass described the decision as s finely balanced judgment, but recommended the refusal of mother's application. The trial judge granted her application and the father sought leave to appeal.

Held that the trial judge had misdirected herself in law. She had failed to consider the judgment of Hedley J in Re Y [2004] 2 FLR 330 which had also concerned a shared care arrangement. She had also failed to give reasons for rejecting the recommendation of the Cafcass officer to refuse to permit the removal, and had failed to address the factors pointing away from permission to relocate.

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