A father has successfully appealed against a ruling that would have allowed his former partner to take their son to live in Colombia.
The case involved a British father and Colombian mother who had a three-year-old son from a relationship that ended before the child was born.
The child regularly saw his father and paternal grandparents, and his maternal grandparents often visited from Colombia.
The mother wanted to take the son to Colombia for Christmas in 2016. The father began proceedings to prevent this and the mother then applied for permission to move to Colombia permanently.
The mother told the court that she was struggling as a single parent and was about to lose her job. She felt it was best for the child to grow up in Colombia where she would have plenty of support.
The father argued that it was best for the child to grow up in the UK where he would have regular contact with both parents.
A CAFCASS officer had recommended that the mother’s request should not be granted as it would deny the son regular contact with his father.
However, the judge ruled that it was in the son’s best interest to live with a happy mother, even if that meant losing regular contact with his father.
The father appealed, arguing that the court had underestimated the benefit to the child of living in the same country as both parents.
The Court of Appeal stated that the judge had not adequately explained her reason for disagreeing with the CAFCASS report and ruled in favour of the father.
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Case Citations: RE M (A CHILD) (2017)CA (Civ Div) (Moylan LJ, Peter Jackson LJ)