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International Family Law

The leading authority on international family law

30 AUG 2012

S v Z (Leave to Remove) [2012] EWHC 846 (Fam) (2012) ICLLR 013

Removal from jurisdiction - Mother applied for permission to relocate with her child to Tanzania to live with her new husband - Father lived in UK, was in a new relationship and had two further children - Whether a relocation was in the child's best interests

09 March 2012

Family Division

Holman J

Facts

The African parents had a 6-year-old child together but were no longer in a relationship. The mother was a British citizen and the father had been granted indefinite leave to remain. The father was in a new relationship and had two further children while the mother had also commenced a new relationship and was married. She was now expecting a child with her husband and sought permission to relocate with the child to Tanzania. The child had always been cared for well by the mother and while the father had regular contact including overnight stays with the child, he had recently not been consistent in maintaining contact. The mother's husband was a successful business man in Tanzania and owned his own home. He could not realistically move from Tanzania to the UK not least because he would have no right to live here and because he had a close connection with Tanzania where he also had a daughter who he saw on an almost daily basis. The mother proposed in addition to frequent indirect contact that she and her husband would pay for the child to travel to England twice a year and spend 6 weeks with the father every summer and 3 weeks at Christmas. The child's wishes and feelings were difficult to ascertain and she had given conflicting reports to the Cafcass officer. Her report advised against allowing the mother's application but during oral evidence the Cafcass officer said that she had not been required to consider an application to relocate before and that the decision was a very fine one.

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