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Homesick mother allowed to take her daughter to live abroad

A mother who could not settle in the UK has been allowed to take her seven-year-old daughter to live with her in the Czech Republic.

The court decided that it would be in the child’s best interests to relocate. The father in the case was British and the mother was Czech. They had met and married in England. They then had a daughter but the mother did not feel at home in the UK and so the family decided to move to the Czech Republic.

However, the father could not settle there and so after a few years the family returned to England. It meant their daughter had spent half her life in each country and could speak both languages.

The marriage then deteriorated and the mother went back to the Republic taking her daughter with her. The father was granted a declaration that the removal was unlawful and a court order that the child should be returned to England.

The mother complied but then applied for a relocation order. The court sent an officer to the Czech Republic to assess the potential impact on the child of being relocated. The officer’s report was favourable to the mother in terms of the support she had in place and the opportunities that would be available to the child.

The judge then decided that the mother would struggle if she had to stay in England and this would have an adverse impact on her daughter. He granted the relocation order and granted the father only limited direct contact.

The father appealed saying the judge had placed too much emphasis on the mother’s feelings and not enough on the views of the child. However, the Court of Appeal upheld the decision saying it was unsustainable for the mother to stay in the UK and that the child’s views had not been expressly alluded to because they did not favour one side or the other.

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