In a recently published judgement, the Family Division of the High Court has ruled that a case involving the welfare of two children should continue in British courts despite their mother having moved with them to Ireland since the beginning of the case.
Mr Justice Roderic Wood said that while he had “no hesitation” in finding that the children’s ‘habitual residence’ (usual residence) was now Eire, EC regulation 2201/2003 and legal precedents allowed for the proceedings to continue in the UK if that was in the “best interests” of the child.
The Hon Mr Justice Wood pointed out that while there was a significant history of legal proceedings in the UK in relation to the case, there was none so far in Ireland and the mother had not said she planned to start any. The original judge, who has now heard two hearings in relation to the case, could, subject to her engagements. oversee future hearings. The original Cafcass officer was also available for further involvement with the family’s case.
Mr Justice Wood concluded: “I have come on fine balance to the view that albeit habitual residence of the children is in Eire, this litigation should be allowed to continue…in this country.”