The Family Court has granted a Polish mother permission to move back to her home country with her two year-old daughter.
While the child’s father is also from Poland, he and his parents have lived in England for “some considerable time”. By contrast, the mother only arrived in the country in 2010 and met the father shortly afterwards. The couple did not marry but lived together for three years starting in 2011.
Their daughter, ‘AZ’, was born in England six months before their relationship came to an end. She lived with her mother in Sheffield but continued to have regular contact with her father.
In September 2015, the mother launched an application for permission to return to Poland and take AZ with her. She said she could not continue to live in England, that she was isolated and suffered from depression. If she lived in Poland, she would have the support of a large extended family and many friends.
The mother had not worked in England since AZ was born. She had also been deemed ineligible to claim jobseeker’s allowance as she hadn’t worked continuously in the UK for more than five years. She claimed she felt “trapped in this country”, claiming that both her and AZ had experienced racist abuse.
A Cafcass officer who assessed the family believed that “the application by the mother [was] genuine and not motivated through selfish reasons”. He noted that there were frequent flights between the UK and Poland, and the mother had offered to help the father with the cost of these so he could visit AZ.
At the Family Court in Sheffield, Mr Justice Cobb declared that “it would be in AZ’s interests that her mother be permitted to remove her to live permanently in Poland”. If he denied the mother’s application, the judge was worried she would become “emotionally unavailable” to her daughter.
He ruled that the father should visit AZ once a month and that the former couple must “contribute one-half each to the cost of the father’s flight to Poland each month at the cheapest available fare”.
Read Re AZ (Child : Relocation to Poland) in full here.