In recent days, a High Court Judge took the unusual step of disclosing the names and identity of four children who had disappeared with their mother following a contact visit to her. The children lived with their father on the Spanish island of Majorca.
It was not the first time that the mother had detained the children after contact beyond the agreed date. The previous week the court had decided that the mother had “abducted” the children from Spain and she was unsuccessful in arguing that the previous court orders should be set aside. So, when she attended a further hearing the Judge said that it was with a “heavy heart” that he must make an order that the children be immediately removed from their mother’s care and placed in the care of the Local Authority for a short period so that they could return to live in Spain. However, when the Police came to remove the children, both the mother and the children had disappeared. The appeal for information on the children’s whereabouts by the Judge proved successful and the children were found safe and well. A further court hearing is now due to take place.
Sadly this is not an uncommon scenario. Emotions can run high where children are concerned. When a relationship has broken down many parents will want their children to spend an equal amount of time with each of their parents. This is not always possible particularly in cases such as this one which involve international borders. However tempers can also fray when a move within the UK is contemplated by one parent which will often have a considerable impact on the existing contact arrangements. A move some distance away can affect the quality of the children’s quality of contact and may force them to spend lengthy periods on the road. Some parents can negotiate sensible compromises, which take into account the wishes and feelings of the children and their welfare needs. In other cases the engagement of a specialist family law solicitor may help to navigate a pathway through the often difficult, logistical and practical considerations surrounding contact arrangements.
If you are in need of advice concerning an aspect of your child’s upbringing, the contact they have with their other parent or their living arrangements, please telephone Gepp & Sons Family Law Team on 01245 228126 to arrange an initial free consultation where we will be delighted to advise you further.
The above is not legal advice, it is intended to provide information of general interest in current legal issues.