Mother facing jail sentence wins appeal over her daughter

August 13, 2018

 

A woman facing a jail sentence has won her appeal to prevent her daughter being returned to her father.

 

The case involved a married couple who had been permanently based in Italy.

 

The marriage broke down and the mother took the child to live elsewhere in Italy without the father's consent. That unlawful removal resulted in court proceedings and the mother was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment in Italy, which she still had to serve.

 

The Italian court awarded the parents joint custody, made shared residence and contact arrangements, and ordered the father to pay child maintenance.

 

Subsequently, the mother removed the daughter to England and enrolled her in school. The father applied for a return order. The mother confirmed that, if the order were granted, she too would return to Italy.

 

The judge concluded that the fact that the mother might be required to serve the custodial sentence did not breach the requirements of The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction 1980 and so the daughter should therefore be returned to Italy.

 

The Court of Appeal has overturned that decision. It held that the judge should have examined the situation the child would face on her return to Italy, including what would happen when the mother and child got off the plane, whether the mother would be arrested, where they would live and what funds they would live on. The judge had no answers to those questions.

 

He should have also considered whether the daughter’s enforced return would increase the likelihood that she would sustain further serious psychological harm, particularly if her mother was required to serve any part of her custodial sentence. It was possible that she would be left in the sole care of her father, with whom she had not lived for several years and about whom she had come to have negative views.

 

All those matters required further investigation and so the case was remitted to a different judge for reconsideration.

 

Please contact our expert legal team on 0208 004 0065 or using the contact form below for more information about the issues raised in this article or any area of divorce or family law.

 

(Case citations: [2017] EWCA Civ 1677RE / GP (A CHILD) (2017) / CA (Civ Div) (King LJ, Lindblom LJ, Henderson LJ) 

Share on Facebook
Tweet
Please reload

What We Offer You

Expert

Solicitors

Price

Promise

Skype

Meetings

Free

Chat

Out of Hours

Appointments

Quick

Responses

No Hidden

Fees

Modern

Service

Expedited

Services

Law Society

Accreditation

Do you need to discuss your family law matter with a solicitor?
Call us now or send an enquiry below to discuss your options!

86 Crown Lane, London, N14 5EN - Tel: 0208 004 0065 - Fax: 0208 090 6155 - hello@southgate.co.uk

southgate solicitors is a trading name of Southgate Solicitors Limited Company No: 10575376 - Registered Office in England at 86 Crown Lane, London, N14 5EN

We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority No: 636415

All prices displayed are inclusive of VAT.

VAT No: 263804305

Privacy Terms of Use - Complaints Process

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • Instagram Social Icon