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(Family Division, Singer J, 19 August 2010)
The father was a German citizen and the mother had dual New Zealand and British citizenship. During the relationship they lived in England, German and, latterly, Hungary, at which time the relationship broke down. The mother took the boy, now aged 3, and moved to England thereafter without the father's consent.
Prior to the removal the wife initiated divorce proceedings, which would encompass issues relating to child maintenance and residence and contact of the child, in Hungary. The father participated in proceedings, submitting a cross-prayer and applying for residence of the child. The Hungarian court was and remained fully seised of the matters. Following her relocation to England the wife made applications in the English court for occupation, residence and maintenance and applied to the Hungarian court under Art 15 of Brussels II Revised to transfer proceedings to England on the basis that it would serve the best interests of the child.
Art 15 of BIIR applied only to matters of parental responsibility and therefore financial matters ancillary to divorce were not to be made subject to the transfer procedure. The Art 15 request insofar as it related to anything other than parental responsibility would not fall within BIIR and the courts of England and Wales could not accept jurisdiction.
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