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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

03 MAY 2012


(Family Division; Macur J; 24 April 2012)

A Portugese father applied for recognition, registration and enforcement of a Portugese order and stay of English proceedings in relation to the one-year-old child. The order confirmed the parents' agreement for shared parental responsibility and care of the child on a 2-monthly rotational basis in England (the mother was English) and Portugal until the child's 3rd birthday.

The father's was application dismissed, the Portugese judgment stayed, prohibiting the child's removal except for contact. The mother had been unhappy in Portugal and was desperate to leave but her ability to express her feelings when the agreement was reached had been compromised. It would be contrary to public policy to recognise the order. The Portugese court still had jurisdiction but as per Art 13 it was in the best interests of the child for the English court to conduct proceedings. Not in best interests of child to be moving between England and Portugal so frequently at an early and crucial stage of development and when the mother's emotional state was fragile when living in Portugal.

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