The Court of Appeal has dismissed a father’s appeal in a case in which the mother had applied for permission to relocate to the Republic of Ireland.
In Re O, the child lived with the mother. The father saw his child regularly but had no overnight contact. The mother wished to move to Ireland with the child, saying she would have a shorter commute to work if she did so, allowing her to spend more time with her child. She would also be more secure financially. Proposals were made for the father to have extensive contact with the child during school holidays.
The judge granted permission for the mother to move to Ireland but shortly afterwards, the father offered to settle his maintenance arrears and commit to making regular future payments. He said he would also make a large contribution to the mother’s legal costs. The judge accepted that these payments would improve the mother’s position in the UK but he still believed that relocation to Ireland would be better for the child. He therefore ruled against the father’s application for another Cafcass report and separate legal representation for the child.
At the Court of Appeal, Lord Justices Thorpe, Rimer and Patten said the original judge had been correct to focus on the financial benefits and practicalities of the move, as well as the emotional wellbeing of the mother. Therefore no further report was necessary.
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