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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.
Formerly entitled the Ancillary Relief Handbook this is the first resort for thousands of...