Mother denied permission to take children to Algeria

Family Law|January 7th 2015

A mother of two has been denied permission to take her children on holiday to Algeria, amid fears she might not return.

In C v K, the parents were both Algerians living in Bradford. They married in 2008 and separated in December of 2011. Following the separation, the father moved to London in search of work while the mother remained in Yorkshire.

Despite living in the UK, the mother petitioned for divorce in Algeria. This move prompted the father to apply for a prohibited steps order against her which was granted. This is an order from the court which forbids someone from taken a certain action. In this case, the mother was told she could not take her children out of the country.

The mother expressed a desire to take the children on holiday at some point in the future, so she applied to have the prohibited steps order revoked. The father was concerned that if she was allowed to take the children to Algeria, she would not return them to the UK.

He claimed that the mother had previously threatened to relocate to Algeria with the children, adding that she has a very limited support system in Britain since the end of their marriage. He also argued that her filing for divorce in Algeria is a sign that she wishes to “establish herself legally as a divorced person there”.

In her application for the order to be revoked, the mother offered an undertaking that she would return with the children in addition to a payment of £4,000 should she fail to comply.

Sitting at the High Court in Leeds, Mr Justice Cobb described the mother as “an unsatisfactory witness”, adding that he found it difficult to put “any significant trust” in her word.

He declared that he was “satisfied that it is not in the interests of the children” to discharge the order as there was “a clear and identifiable risk” that they would not be returned. The safeguards offered by the mother would be “ineffective” should she change her mind, the judge said.

To read the full judgment, click here.

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