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Care of Polish children to be decided in England

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March 28, 2024

The High Court has ruled that a care case involving three Polish children should be heard in England.

Each of the three children, aged nine, six and two, had separate fathers but shared the same mother. They moved to England with their mother in August 2014 a few months after the youngest child’s father moved to Derby in search of work.

Sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Mr Justice Keehan said that “a series of unfortunate events” led to one child’s placement in care. He added that these events were “not relevant to the jurisdictional issues” of the case and did not comment on them further. However, the events also resulted in the launch of care proceedings by Derby City Council in relation to all three children.

Before such proceedings could begin, the High Court had to determine if the case should be heard in England or Poland. Mr Justice Keehan said that “undisputed factual evidence” indicated that the Polish authorities were aware of the mother’s intention to move to England and that she intended it to be permanent. He added that he was “completely satisfied that the children lost their habitual resident [sic] in Poland” which meant England was their legal home.

The judge ruled that the English authorities had jurisdiction in this case and ordered the care proceedings to be heard at the Family Court in Derby.

To read Derby City Council v SK & Ors, click here.

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. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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