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‘ … I am satisfied that the mother's primary objective for relocation is to limit the involvement of the father in the lives of the children. It is the mother who wishes to control the father's relationship with the children and not the father exercising control over the mother. Living in
Germany with the children I am satisfied that the mother perceives that she would be the parent with control. Maintaining the father's relationship through contact is not high on her list of priorities.’
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‘ … Her worries had been consistently and appropriately reported and recorded until she revealed her perception that father had used words which appeared to be a threat to do something serious to himself and the children, the context being a then recent tragedy where a father had killed himself and his children. Father denied using those words. Mother was equally clear in evidence that she should not have expressed her fear in the way that she had, but nevertheless it was a fear that she genuinely held.’The Court of Appeal then went on to examine contact itself:
‘ … With respect to the judge, she elided a motivation to limit contact to the terms of agreed court orders with a motivation to limit the involvement of the father by relocating to
Germany. There is a clear difference. There was some evidence to support the former, and no evidence beyond inferences derived out of the judge's criticism of the nature of the relationship breakdown to support the latter. Mother had not refused contact or breached a court order. Orders had been obtained by consent and had been complied with. They were relatively generous to father, given the need for the children to have quality time with each parent. The transcript of evidence demonstrates that mother had proposed a contact arrangement of one day a week and three out of four weekends during negotiations that were cross examined upon at the hearing. She had on occasion offered more contact, albeit it is said she would have known that father could not take up that additional contact because of his employment. The one example of contact restriction which was valid arises out of the circumstances of the relationship breakdown. Staying contact did not immediately commence and there was a period of disruption and then visiting contact for which it may have been appropriate to criticise mother as not being sufficiently supportive of the relationship between the children and their father.’