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Mother wins appeal to take children to Australia

A mother has won her appeal to take her two sons with her to Australia despite objections from their father.

The Court of Appeal ruled that the judge at the original hearing had been wrong to refuse permission as relocation was clearly in the best interests of the children.

The mother, who is Australian, had never married or lived with the father of her two sons, aged 12 and eight.

At the time she applied to be allowed to relocate to Australia, the father had very little contact with the boys and did not have parental responsibility.

However, in the year it took to get to the final hearing, he had been granted parental responsibility together with contact rights.

An officer from CAFCASS, the organisation that protects the interests of children, filed three reports on the case and his view was that the mother should be given permission to relocate with the children.

However, the judge dismissed the application having decided that it was better for the children to stay in the UK so their relationship with their father could continue to develop.

The Court of Appeal has now overturned that decision. It held that the judge had plainly reached the wrong conclusion because it was in the best interests of the children for the mother to be allowed to relocate.

The mother’s relocation plans could not be criticised. Her motivation was unimpeachable and she would be devastated if permission was refused.

This was very important because, when considering the best interests of children, it was necessary to consider the welfare of their primary carer.

The judge had also failed to consider that the children would lose their relationship with the mother’s side of the family if they did not go to Australia.

The mother’s appeal was therefore granted.

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