Hadkinson and the Credit Crunch: an Option - Family Law journal

30 JUL 2010

SARAH HUGHES, Solicitor, Anthony Gold

Hadkinson v Hadkinson [1952] 2 All ER 567 concerned a mother who, following the conclusion of her divorce proceedings, remarried and removed the child of the family to Australia. This was in breach of an order made during the course of the proceedings that the child not be removed without leave of the court. The court ordered that the mother return with the child immediately. However, instead of returning to the UK, the mother appealed against the order. The father argued that the court should not hear the mother's appeal whilst she remained in Australia because she was in contempt of court and the appeal should only be heard once she returned to the UK and was no longer in contempt.

The Court of Appeal, led by Denning LJ (as he was then), found in favour of the father and held that, where a party has disobeyed an order and is in contempt of court, the court has the discretion to refuse to hear their application.

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