SPECIFIC ISSUE ORDER: M v H (Educational Welfare) [2008] EWHC 324 (Fam)

21 FEB 2008

(Family Division; Charles J; 21 February 2008)

Under a shared residence order the child lived with the mother in Germany; the father lived in England. The English court had retained jurisdiction in respect of the child's welfare. Following the mother's baptism as a Jehovah's Witness, it became apparent that the mother did not wish to promote the child's relationship with the father. The issue arose whether the child should attend full-time education in England or Germany.

The court had to identify what was most likely, if successful, to promote the short, medium and long-term welfare of the child, and then to see if that was a realistic possibility and how it was best to be achieved. The court had to be aware that it might have to take the path that reflected the least bad solution. It was in the interests of the child that she be able to continue and build her relationship with both parents; the least bad option was to order that the child attend school in England, on the basis that there was a higher risk that the mother would not promote the child's relationship with the father if the child attended school in Germany.

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