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International relocation: Mother allowed to appeal ban

A mother denied permission to move abroad with her children has been allowed to appeal the decision.

In Re P (Children), the parents were both born and raised in Germany but have been living in the UK for over a decade.

The mother left the family home with the children, aged two and a half and three, prior to Christmas 2012 following the breakdown of the relationship.

She claimed the father was emotionally and financially controlling to the point it could be classed as abusive, and that a move back to Germany would give the children a better standard of living.

The proposed international relocation was blocked by the Manchester County Court as the judge believed the mother’s decision was not in the best interests of the children.

The family judge ruled that the mother was more interested in limiting the father’s involvement in their children’s lives.

On the basis that her motivation should not be a deciding factor, the mother took the case to the Court of Appeal.

The father opposed her appeal, arguing that the original judge was right to criticise the mother for leaving the family home “without notice”.

Lord Justice Ryder ruled that without the original judge’s “value judgment” regarding the mother’s motivation, the cases of both parents were evenly balanced.

In his conclusion, he ruled that the original judge “misdirected herself on a key issue” by placing so much weight on what she perceived to be the mother’s motivations.

Lord Justice Ryder said that the case needed to be reheard so he granted the mother permission to appeal.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. Guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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