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Family Law

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19 NOV 2014

J v B [2014] EWHC 3588 (Fam)

J v B [2014] EWHC 3588 (Fam)
(Family Division, Roderic Wood J, 10 October 2014)

The full judgment is available below.

The judge found pursuant to the Hague Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-operation in Respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children 1996 that the child was habitually resident in Morocco and should be returned there.



IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
FAMILY DIVISION

No. FD 14 P00436
[2014] EWHC 3588 (Fam)

Royal Courts of Justice
Strand
London
WC2A 2LL

Friday, 10th October 2014

Before:

MR. JUSTICE RODERIC WOOD
(In Private)

B E T W E E N :

J
Applicant

- and -

B
Respondent

_________

Transcribed by BEVERLEY F. NUNNERY & CO. (a trading name of Opus 2 International Limited) Official Court Reporters and Audio Transcribers One Quality Court, Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1HR Tel: 020 7831 5627 Fax: 020 7831 7737 info@beverleynunnery.com

_________

MR. E. DEVEREUX (instructed by Dawson Cornwell Solicitors) appeared on behalf of the Applicant
MRS F. MOORE (instructed by JD Spicer Zeb Solicitors) appeared on behalf of the Respondent

_________


J U D G M E N T

MR. JUSTICE RODERIC WOOD
:

The proceedings

[1] These proceedings concerning a boy I shall call S are brought by a father pursuant to the inherent jurisdiction and under the Hague Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-operation in Respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children, that Convention being dated 19th October 1996 and referred to hereafter as the 1996 Convention. In particular, I have had my attention drawn to Articles 5, 7, 19 & 22 of that Convention.

[2] The father seeks the return of the boy to Morocco. He is prepared to offer undertakings to this court to provide for what are colloquially known in this and similar proceedings as a “soft landing”, perhaps the most significant of which in this case is an undertaking not to remove S from the care of his mother in the event that she seeks the permission of the court of Morocco to remove S from Morocco to England until such time as the courts of Morocco are seized of the case and there is an inter partes hearing. But he goes further and in fact he makes it clear that if the mother chooses to make her home back in Morocco, with or without her new husband and/or new child (see below) he would not seek to disturb the order of 12th July 2012, to which I shall refer in more detail later, but which provided for the mother to have the care of S, namely in the form of a residence order, and the father to have weekly contact with his son face-to-face.

[3] The mother opposes the application and seeks orders in this jurisdiction to preserve the current arrangements which are that S lives with her and her new husband and, in due course, in November the new child born to the mother and that new husband. The mother also proposes that the father have regular and frequent visits to their son in this jurisdiction and holidays in Morocco, and in between plentiful internet calls to each other via systems known as Viber and Skype, which allow face-to-face indirect contact.

[4] As I have noted, there is currently an order of 12th July 2012 of the Moroccan court giving the mother residential custody, as it is there called, but also giving the father every Sunday and every holiday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. by way of contact, provided that S sleeps at his mother’s overnight. There is some evidence to suggest that the father did not for practical and financial reasons take up all of this contact, but on any view he certainly had all of the summer holidays with S in 2012 and 2013 and regular and frequent indirect contact; and, furthermore, as is apparently agreed, contact from time to time facilitated by members of the maternal family when they visited from their home town to Fez where the father works, a journey of some 90 kilometres in each direction. It is not clear to me from the evidence quite how frequent those trips were, but that they took place is beyond doubt.

Background

[5] The father was born in Morocco on 18th November 1966 and is thus 47 rising 48. He suffered from polio as a child and has a moderate mobility problem. Regular and frequent international travel would be difficult for him on that ground alone, but he also lacks the means to do so. He works as a professor at a university in Morocco, which I shall not name to preserve anonymity. Even in the summer holidays, he may require the consent of his employers to taking such leave.

[6] The mother was born in Morocco on 26th June 1982 and is thus 31 years of age. She now lives in London. She has no employment, but is on public benefits, including housing benefit. Her new husband who has lived here for some 19 years lives in the same home as the mother. As I have earlier noted, a new child is due to be born to them, a half-sibling for S, but I have jumped ahead of the chronology to which I now revert.

[7] In the late 1990s the father undertook postgraduate studies in England. The parents met, presumably on the father’s return to Morocco for some purpose, in Fez some time early in the new century and married in Morocco on 11th August 2005. The couple then came to Salford in Greater Manchester where S was born on 5th January 2007. He is now, therefore, 7 ¾.

[8] Although both parents were by this time British nationals, the father’s career took them to Saudi Arabia in about September 2009 where he undertook the employment of assistant professor at a university. The mother says that she wanted to remain in the United Kingdom and not go to Saudi Arabia, but she eventually did so in the end, taking S with them. He was by then 2 ¾ years old.

[9] The family then in February 2011, when S was four, moved back to Morocco, though, of course, for S this was his first time living there, for the father had been given the professorship to which I have earlier made reference.

[10] The marriage was deteriorating. Each parent has their own version of why it did so, but I need not consider that issue. The deterioration ultimately led to divorce proceedings in Morocco brought by the father and the order I referred to in paragraph 12 above. The terms of the order and the judgment of that court make it abundantly clear that the intention was that the mother and children should live in Morocco. It is not open, in my view, to any other construction, for if it permitted the mother to move countries, as she asserts was her right under it, the provision for the father’s contact would be otiose. There is no provision in the order for the mother to unilaterally decide to move to other countries with the child. When she did so it dealt an almost fatal blow to any form of direct contact with the father. Indeed, as I understand it, there has been none since.

[11] Returning to the chronology, following that judgment the mother lived for a period with the maternal grandparents and S, and then left S with her parents, although she seems to deny in the statements that I have read on her behalf that this was so. I have no hesitation in finding she is wrong about that, although I have had no oral evidence from either party and must proceed with all due caution, and can only so find if the evidence establishes this fact on the balance of probabilities. My reason for so finding is the clear statements of S to Ms. Odze, the CAFCASS High Court Team Reporting Officer, who interviewed S at the request of this court on 4th August. He stated that after his mother left for England, which was at the latest in January 2013, he lived with his maternal grandparents and saw his father for contact until 14th September 2013 when his mother brought him to this country.

[12] There is a dispute I need not resolve about whether or not the mother came to England in January 2012 or 2013, although the evidence now seems to suggest that 2013 was the more likely date. What is clear is that she lived here and continues to do so and has, I am told by her counsel, Miss Moore, no intention of returning to Morocco if she can help it.

[13] Only very recently has the mother filed evidence after the court ordered her to do so setting out her relationship with her new husband whom I shall call M. She says she was living in Morocco and M lived in London when they were first introduced, apparently, she says, by her own mother. The relationship between them developed, although, as I understand the factual position, she is unlikely to have met him before coming to England in January 2013 and marrying him by Muslim rites. Whatever the circumstances, it is quite clear that irrespective of where she lived before her remarriage, she had lived with M in London subsequently.

[14] M was from 2008 until about December 2013 a restaurant floor supervisor at a restaurant in London. In December of last year he was made redundant and has not worked since, though he writes in a letter to this court saying that he is confident of getting a job and is seeking one. Perhaps the lapse of almost a year without him so doing is the proper indicator of the likelihood of success in the near future. He is, I should mention for completeness sake, although the holder of indefinite leave to remain in this country, not a British national, though he says he will apply for that status when his finances permit.

[15] Returning to S, as I noted, he lived in Morocco with his maternal grandparents and spent the summer holidays of 2013, 1st July to 7th September mostly, if not exclusively, with his father, then returning to his school which was near the home of his maternal grandparents.

[16] On 12th September the mother flew into Morocco and on 14th September last year she took S to the airport and only there when S asked her did she say that they were going to England. I take this from S’s interview with Ms. Odze. This suggests strongly to me that she knew S would tell his father if he knew before their departure and that was a thing she wished to avoid. The mother says she had told the father she was going to make such a move and take S on more than one occasion prior to the actual departure date. He denies any such knowledge and emphatically denies consenting. The mother’s own evidence to be found at C26 paragraph 15 in her statement dated 13th June of this year undermines her claim that the father consented when she says that she told him of her plan and “he just swore at me”. She adds: “I had been saying to the father for quite some time that I wanted to return to the United Kingdom with S. I do not know whether he believed me or not when I used to say this”. Once again, this, on her own version, falls a very long way short, I find, of consent, applying the appropriate standard of proof.

[17] The father issued proceedings forthwith in Morocco, probably on or about 23rd September 2013, seeking to revoke the order of 12th July 2012. The mother was legally represented in those proceedings. The father’s claim seems to have foundered, according to the judgment and the order of that court of 16th January 2014, because the evidence did not establish to their satisfaction that the mother had left Morocco permanently rather than temporarily and because the father did not propose a female carer for S if he came to live with his father as part of the relevant domestic family law code required. It seems to me that there is the strongest inference from the fact that the tribunal did not know whether it was a short or a long term removal by the mother that either she misled them and/or they misunderstood, for it has always been her case that she was going to leave Morocco permanently with S and not return to live there, only visiting from time to time. However, I have decided to leave that speculation, strong as the evidence appears to be, to one side and put it from my mind.

[18] By way of further finding, however, I am in no doubt that the mother not only did not tell the father, nor indeed this court, about her marriage to M in January of last year until very recently, and she did not tell the father nor the court about her pregnancy. The evidence strongly suggests that the mother came to England in January 2013, as I have noted, because of her wish to marry. There was no previous plan evident from the papers to suggest the contrary and, as I have said and found, she did not tell her former husband about her plans until after she had brought S to this country. As for not mentioning the pregnancy, I profoundly disagree with Mrs Moore’s submission that these are such essentially private matters between the mother and the father of the as yet unborn baby that there was no need to refer to them. This court was, as the mother would know from her advisers, dealing with questions of welfare. The arrival of a new half-sibling impacts directly upon S and may well have affected the plans which the father made. It was certainly relevant to the court to know about this, and yet she held out until her own counsel told Mr. Devereux, counsel for the father, about this at a hearing in August of this year. Her silence on both subjects is at its lowest devious, but I am not here to punish her for that, nor indeed reward the father.

[19] Why these deliberate evasions is hard to fathom. It may be that she is concerned about the impact of these events on her prospects of retaining the care of S if ordered to return to Morocco, as Mrs Moore asserts she is at risk, but that is, in my view, speculative and I put it to one side also.

[20] Once here the mother entered S for schooling at an infant school, and then at a primary school from about April of this year onwards. I have seen a report covering the period April 14th to June 14th. It is a good one. What seems to me to be quite clear, however, is that S spoke almost no English on arrival, hardly surprisingly, and still has significant problems with it, despite a very positive attitude on his part, and despite the provision on a daily basis of further teaching. I do, however, note that by the time of his interview with Ms. Odze, he only had to use the interpreter provided for him occasionally to check meanings. The evidence of the school over the longer period, in my view, carries more weight.

[21] Overall, his school report is a very good one and he is clearly a very popular child and tries hard at his work. I shall have to take that into account as one of the many evidential features in assessing whether or not to grant the father the relief he seeks or refuse it, as the mother wishes.

[22] Ms. Odze was asked to interview S to try and establish his wishes and feelings about where he wanted to live. I shall set out in some detail what he said and Ms. Odze’s conclusion. He chose to speak about Morocco first. He mentioned that his father lived there. He had been to school in the town where the maternal grandparents live, spending all his holidays with his father in Fez. He spoke a little more about his father, but I need not go into that, since it falls into the category (for my purposes) of irrelevant information. He refined his reference to school holidays to the extent that, as I understand it, it is agreed that he spent only the full summer holiday with his father. He spoke of his father’s household and how there was a housekeeper who came sometimes to assist with cleaning and cooking, although his father did a little cooking. He only had a few friends at his then school. Asked what was good about Morocco he spoke of swimming and of his holidays with his father. He could not think of anything else that was good, although I later note that he shivers at an English winter and clearly the climate was to his liking in Morocco. Whilst he was there, his mother used to come and see him. He did not know that his mother was taking him back to the United Kingdom. I have mentioned the airport exchange between them earlier. He says that on receipt of that news about going to England he was “happy, because I wanted to live here”, but then clarified that by saying that “this was because he wanted to live with his mother”. I have no idea from the evidence filed what this boy was told by his mother were the relevant options. I shall return to this subject. He liked his maternal grandparents and his father.

[23] He then turned to England. He liked his school here and he has made friends. There were no other Moroccans in the school, nor does he have Moroccan neighbours, but his school friends come and play with him, and he goes to their home to play with them. He speaks to his father via Viber. He had no idea how frequently. They seem to call each other at times, on occasions each of them instituting the contact. He was asked if his father spoke to him about going back to Morocco and S said that his father did so, but he said nothing back to him. He said that his mother also tells him that his father wants him to go back to live there, “but he tells the mother that he wants to stay here with her”. Again, I make the same point, that this is not an altogether overt declaration of a wish to live in England, but is open to interpretation depending on what options, about which I know nothing, were put to him. He would be sad if I ordered that he returned to Morocco, because he wants to stay with his mother. He does not appear to contemplate the proposition that his mother might accompany him, either short term with a view to seeking a further removal of a lawful nature or long term to live there. If I decide that he should stay here he would like to go to Morocco and see his father in the school holidays, but he was not able to specify how frequently he would like to travel there, but if he went to Morocco he expressed a view that he would like to come back to the United Kingdom to see his mother. Thus, he is postulating that his mother would remain here. When asked how frequently the holidays should be, he gave the same answer as in respect of his father, namely that he would wish to see her every summer holiday. He was asked if there was anything else he wanted Ms. Odze to tell me. He had nothing immediately in mind. What was good about the United Kingdom was that he had lots of friends, but then he said not lots, a little bit and lots. If there was anything else he liked about England was asked again and he simply referred to train rides around London. It appears clear from paragraph 17 of that report of 12th August that there is little enough connection with the mosque in London, although they have attended it for the Eid celebrations recently. He has no friends in the mosque. There is no evidence that he is being raised as a Muslim that I have detected. He was quite clear that he liked M.

[24] Ms. Odze’s conclusions include the following. That S was well presented and had a good command of English, as I earlier noted. He is an intelligent child and a polite one. She has concluded on the basis of her training and research that S was a “resilient child who did not appear to be badly caught up in the conflict between his parents. He had nothing bad to say about his father or about life in Morocco. He was clear about his reasons for wanting to remain in the United Kingdom, which was to be with the mother, but showed no outward sign of distress at the mention of a possible return to Morocco”. See paragraph 25 of that report. In paragraph 26 she says this: “I was left with no doubt that S wanted to see the parent that he was not living with and spend significant time with whoever it would be”.

The Law

[25] Before going any further with my survey of the facts and my findings in respect of them, I should say something of the law. In Re J (a child) (Custody Rights: Jurisdiction) (2005) UKHL 40 Baroness Hale summarised the approach to be taken by a court in non-Hague Convention cases. I emphasise, that is a reference to the 1980 Hague Convention and not the one that I am considering, the 1996 Convention. Mr. Devereux has set out the relevant passages in his skeleton in summary form deriving from paragraphs 18 to 28 of that judgment. I incorporate those paragraphs from the judgment by reference only. Mrs Moore has also referred me to paragraph 45 of that judgment which I also incorporate by reference only at this point since her argument on the subject of that paragraph refers to the relevant part of the family code in Morocco. I shall deal with the issues she raises later.

[26] I direct myself in the terms of the paragraphs referred to by Mr. Devereux. For Morocco, (though a signatory to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, namely the 1980 Convention), has not yet been accepted by the United Kingdom authorities and thus the case falls to be considered under the inherent jurisdiction, the welfare of S being my paramount consideration.

[27] These proceedings were instituted by the father on 14th March of this year. The delay in so issuing was essentially to do with lack of money. I do not criticise him, nor believe that the delay was in any way caused by him being uncertain as to what had occurred and what he wished for by way of a return of S to Morocco. The case has followed a conventional course, though at a somewhat laggardly pace, partly because of funding problems for the mother. Because of the delay, S has been here for 14 months.

[28] Although the parties early on in the proceedings agreed that no Moroccan lawyer was needed to opine on Moroccan law, a late application on behalf of the father, for reasons I need not go into, led to the court authorising the obtaining of an opinion. Before me is the report from a suitably qualified attorney in Morocco. I accept the observation of Mrs Moore that his report deals with a tranche of the questions posed, but does not deal with some other issues. I have not felt it needful to hear from that lawyer, who is apparently available by telephone link today, or to adjourn for further enquiry, for it seems to me that overall the papers reveal quite sufficient answer to the questions not specifically addressed.

[29] The relevant code under Moroccan family law of 2004 provides the following, according to that attorney.

(i) “In Morocco, the Royal Dahir No 1.04.22 of February 3, 2004 is the Statute that regulates all Family Law matters and Disputes. Its principles are based on Islamic Law (Sharia Law) as interpreted by the moderate Islamic scholar Imam Malik”.

(ii) “According to Article 164 of the above Statute, custody of the children during marriage is the responsibility of both parents and this custody remains until [the] adulthood of the children. (In Morocco, the minor, male or female becomes adult at the age of 18).”

(iii) “When the marriage is terminated by the divorce, custody of the children goes first to the mother, then to the father, then to the grand mother (mother’s side) (Article 171 of the Statute of the Family).”

[30] He goes on to refer to a provision which is irrelevant for my purposes, and I do not accord it.

(iv) “Article 175 of the same Statute states that the remarriage of the custodian mother does not cause her to loose (sic) custody over her child (male or female) in the following situations:

(a) If the child is 7 years of age or less, or if the child will suffer damages (sic) from being separated from his mother.

(b) If the child has health condition (sic) or handicap that will render custody of non-mother (sic) extremely burdensome.

(c) If the husband, the mother remarries, is the legal representative of the child (sic).

(d) If the mother becomes the legal representative of the child. Article 176, however, states that the silence for one year of the party who has the right to become custodian after he found out about such remarriage” (in this case this father) “makes him loose (sic) such right.”

(v) “If the custodian mother remarries while the male child under her custody is over 7 years old. In addition to that, she has an other (sic) child by the new marriage, the father based on articles 171 and 175 of the Statute of the Family, may bring a lawsuit before the Family Court of the mother’s domicile to have custody of his son.”

[31] He then goes on to set out some provisions I need not address relating to maintenance in those circumstances.

(vi) “The Statute of the Family of Feb 3, 2004 does not mention in any of its articles, the relocation to an other (sic) country of the child wanted for custody by the parent. Article 178 of the same Statute, however states that the custodian mother does not loose (sic) custody over her child if she moves permanent (sic) to a different town in Morocco. If such Lawsuit to relocate the child to an other (sic) country is brought, the Family Court in giving its decision may consider the child’s best interests and the ability of the non custodian parent to visit the child (parent’s visitation rights).” [Emphasis supplied]

It seems to me from that last sub-paragraph recited above that the attorney clearly contemplates the existence of a suit to relocate to another country, and makes it abundantly clear that the relevant test is the child’s best interests. I also look at the matter I referred to in (iv)(a) above, namely the passage which reads: “Or if the child will suffer damages (sic) from being separated from his mother”.

[32] In my view, the above provisions do not suggest that the father will automatically be awarded the full time care of S in the Moroccan courts on the basis of those provisions. See in this context, most importantly, Article 178 referred to above, and Article 175 also referred to above. In any event, the father has undertaken in the first instance, as I have already noted, to leave S with his mother pending an application by him if she asserts she wants to take S to England or, indeed, to make no application to disturb the July 2012 order if she decides to stay in Morocco.

[33] Furthermore, the father has in his statement put forward an outline of the care arrangements he would make for S in the event that he did apply for and was granted care of his son should the mother choose to leave Morocco. On the basis that this hearing does not require me to carry out a full scrutiny of the competing positions if there is a return and the father succeeds, those issues could be dealt with by the Moroccan courts. I make it clear that, in my judgment, it is entirely appropriate on the facts of this case that I should approach these issues summarily. I further make it clear at this point that on the face of it the proposals the father makes, including frequent contact for S with his mother, do not on their face appear to me to be grossly deficient, but I emphasise should the need arise that is a matter for the Moroccan court to look at in detail.

[34] Returning to the code of 2004, perhaps better referred to, as the advocate expert witness has, as the Statute of 2004, there is nothing which suggests that the Moroccan court cannot permit a mother to live abroad with a child, irrespective of the father’s consent. See the reference to Article 178 above.

[35] Miss Moore refers to Article 22 of the 1996 Convention, as I earlier noted. I incorporate that provision by reference only. She marries her submission on this article to the observation of Baroness Hale in Re J (Supra) at paragraph 46. If I am right in paragraph 34 above, this question does not arise. Even if I am wrong as to the existence of such a power, I ask rhetorically why it is that the courts of England and Wales do return children to countries where the relevant code is based on Sharia principles. What Baroness Hale required was that the judge take note of and consider the absence of such a power. I have done so and do not, even in that scenario, consider it would be wrong to return S to Morocco, but that is only one aspect.

Further matters

[36] I have considered the way this family lived in Morocco and how they might live if the mother returned there. Both have family there. The father worked and supported them when they were together and provided maintenance, although the mother quibbles at his payment record pursuant to the order of July 2012. S was rooted in that country, as Ms. Odze’s report makes clear, and as neither of the parents challenge in any real way, indeed the father not at all. Although the parents’ marriage broke down, even then the mother did not immediately come back to England, as she says has always been her desire, but stayed on through the divorce proceedings and through the next six months after the 12th July 2012 order, only coming here, as I have found, to marry her new husband.

[37] The strong impression from the evidence, and I so find, is that the mother and father and S were habitually resident in Morocco prior to 14th September 2013, and that the mother wrongfully removed S from the jurisdiction on that date. It is clear, I find, that she was what Mr. Devereux has called an economic migrant. (See, for example, but not exclusively, her letter giving that impression dated 9th April 2014 at page C14 of the bundle).

[38] Although it is said the mother’s new husband speaks good English, the mother speaks scarcely any. I have already commented on S’s grasp of the language. There are other aspects of the school report which support overall his limited capability. The likelihood is that at home they speak in Moroccan French and/or Arabic and not in English.

[39] Although both his parents are British nationals, and so is S, the reality of their daily lives before the mother wrongfully and unlawfully removed S from Morocco is that they lived the sort of domestic lives consistent with the parents’ upbringing in that country and from 2011 they did so in actuality.

[40] The father has under the Moroccan laws parental responsibility for his son. The mother has denied him the right to exercise it by bringing S here and also, by way of only one example, failing to inform him of S’s school options and of the ultimate choices she made for that schooling until the court required evidence from her.

[41] She has also prevented in any real way the father exercising any face-to-face contact since September of last year. She speaks of plans to visit Morocco and letting the father have contact there in the summer holidays, but made no such provision for such a trip this year and, in any event, claims she cannot afford to make the journeys. She cannot have it both ways.

[42] She offers, I believe, about seven visits in this country per annum, but given the father’s ostensible means, how can he pay for them, let alone the matters I refer to above about his mobility and the availability permitted for holidays by his employers? The reality is that the father would in all probability have only a relationship with S by indirect contact.

[43] The mother raises no real welfare concerns about S returning to Morocco, nor equally does S in his interview with Ms. Odze.

[44] Both of these parents have access to Moroccan lawyers in that country and have litigated there twice. The cases in Morocco have both been brought on swiftly and judgment given equally swiftly, one to the detriment to the father. It is noteworthy that the judgment and orders of 16th January of this year did not require the mother to return to the Kingdom of Morocco, even though it knew that the father had not consented to any removal, temporary or longer term.

[45] As for Articles 5 and 6 of the 1996 Convention, it is clear the Moroccan court had, and continues to have, in my view, jurisdiction in this matter based on the continuing habitual residence of S in that country, which was not terminated by his mother’s wrongful removal of him. Indeed, as I read the documents, the mother did not seek to argue the contrary.

[46] Overall, and having considered all the relevant material, not all of which I have referred to above, I have no hesitation that it is in S’s best interests to return to Morocco where he was habitually resident for the courts of that country to adjudicate, if required to do so, on welfare issues relating to S.

[47] I have considered the wishes of S as relayed to Ms. Odze. They are clear that he wants to be with his mother. As I have found, they are not clear as to whether he means in Morocco or England, for in saying to Ms. Odze that he wanted to be here with his mother, I do not find that to be sufficiently informative to come to the conclusion advocated by Mrs Moore.

[48] In any event, those expressions of his are not antipathetic to Morocco and at his age cannot be described as determinative. If he is to have any real relationship with his father other than one based on indirect contact, irrespective of its quality, the matters relevant to that question should be considered carefully and determined in Morocco on a full welfare enquiry. I consider I have more than enough information to determine the question of return on a summary approach to the evidence as I have already made clear.

[49] The mother says she cannot return prior to the birth of her new child, because she has made all her arrangements for the delivery of the child here. Her counsel let slip that it was a perfectly normal pregnancy with no complications. I infer the latter part. Although prohibited from flying by most airlines at her advanced stage of pregnancy, she could return overland to Morocco, but taking that and other features into account I have decided that the return of S to Morocco may be delayed for a brief period until the school Christmas holidays, subject to further submissions by both counsel, thus being some anticipated six weeks after the birth.

[50] The mother says she will never live in Morocco again. She has made a life here. She will have to make a hard choice. She must go there and fight her corner or not. S will be returned to live with his father if she does not. That is my judgment.
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