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(Family Division, His Honour Judge Horrowitz, sitting as a judge of the Family Division, 18 March 2013)
The father was a high earning professional footballer, based in the UK, who had a child, now 4 years old, with the mother, who following the end of the relationship returned to her home country in Africa with the child.
The mother applied under Sch 1 to the Children Act 1989 for all forms of financial relief including maintenance, lump sum and secure provision. The father's total net worth was in the region of £10m. The mother's income, including maintenance provided by the father, was a little over £13,000 pa.
Proceedings were also ongoing in Africa in relation to maintenance, which was encompassed in the meaning of parental responsibility, but no jurisdiction existed to award a capital provision.
The mother currently resided with her parents in a two-bedroom bungalow which necessitated her sharing a room with the child. The property was situated in a country with a high crime rate and the maternal grandfather had recently intercepted an intruder and shot him dead. The property had an alarm system but was not situated in a gated community. She sought good quality accommodation in a gated community with 24-hour personal security. She had identified properties which cost in the region of £300,000.
It was wrong in law and unsatisfactory in practice to treat the English proceedings as ancillary to those conducted in Africa. The decision under Sch 1 of the Children Act 1989 would substitute the African proceedings and a declaration would be made to that affect.
The mother's proposals for accommodation were reasonable, appropriate and demonstrated a serious attempt at compromise from her original stance. A settlement order would remain in place until the child had ceased tertiary education. A sum of £50,000 would be ordered for fitting out the accommodation. The appropriate annual budget would be £57,850, index-linked and stepped between the mother and child once she reached university. Both parents were in agreement that the father would fund private medical and education provision.
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