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05 AUG 2010

LEAVE TO REMOVE: Re H (Leave to Remove) [2010] EWCA Civ 915

(Court of Appeal; Jacob, Lloyd and Wilson LJJ; 19 May 2010)

The child was born in England and then moved to the Czech Republic aged one. The child spent some three years there but then returned to England for almost two years. The mother then took her child back to the Czech Republic without the father's permission. The father obtained an order requiring the mother to return which she did, but she sought leave to relocate to the Czech Republic. The child was now 7-years-old. The judge found that the mother and the father were both caring and good parents and granted leave with staying contact with the father in the UK and the Czech Republic. The father would be devastated if permission was given, and equally the mother, the primary carer, would be devastated if permission was not given.

The judge had failed to refer to wishes of child. The Court examined criticisms of Payne and also considered the Washington Declaration on International Family Relocation. Consideration to be given to whether the present law of England and Wales placed excessive weight upon impact on primary carer. Nonetheless, appeal dismissed.


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