Court back father’s plan to take son to dangerous area

Family Law|March 30th 2017

The father of a five year-old boy may take him to an occasionally dangerous country, the High Court has ruled.

The case concerned an “Asian” man and his partner, who came from an unspecified European country. Both have studied and worked in England for a number of years.

Following their acrimonious separation shortly after the birth of ‘W’, the father continued to have see his son. But conflict arose when the father announced plans to take the boy to visit his family back in his country of origin, which also remained unspecified to protect the boy’s identity. The country in question had experienced conflict and the mother was very worried about her son’s safety during the planned trip.

The father applied to the High Court for permission to go without the mother’s conset. His ex-partner explained to the court that she was anxious about “civil disorder” in the country and the possibilityi of the father’s parents being kidnapped or assassinated because both were “very senior civil servants”. The country had experienced terrorism in the past. She would not be able to help W, she said, if he got into difficulties.

But, sitting at the High Court, Mr Justice Peter Jackson concluded that the boy would benefit from visiting his father’s family in spite of the “unrest” in the country. The potential gains outweighed the risks, he believed.

“I think the risk to [the boy’s] security is a background factor, but I find that it is hugely outweighed by the short, medium and long-term advantages to him of having his own experience of his paternal heritage and his knowledge of his large paternal family.”

The veteran judge described the well-travelled W as “a very modern child with an unusually rich heritage.”

In his ruling, Mr Justice Peter Jackson stressed that the father’s parents lived in a prosperous area in a well-guarded home. A distinction needed to be made, he explained, between dangerous destinations and people’s country of origin.

“To say to somebody that they should not take their children on holiday to a country that is experiencing unrest might be a very strong argument if they were going there purely for pleasure, but it has to be looked at in context if you are in fact addressing a family who originate there and who may have entirely different needs. In this case what is significant, to my mind, is that the father himself and his two brothers and his sister, and all the six children of his siblings and his parents have lived in stable conditions. There is no report of any attempt, still less a successful one, to threaten their security and the cousins who W knows from their visits to London have grown up safe and well.”

The Judge therefore ruled that W should be allowed to travel back to the country with his father for a maximum period of two weeks a year.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers 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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  1. Paul says:

    No countries are safe. Lifes not safe. If he wanted to take the kid to Butlins the crazy woman would still be trying to stop him. Because thats what women these days seem to do. Is not time we asked how damaging are these ridiculous materal instincts ??? Overall life these days is pretty safe an sanitised compared to how it used to be. Kids used to work down coal mines.
    Lets be straight. This is about control. When a child goes to visit his dad. Women seem to freak out because they are out of control so the mothers try to use the courts or whatever way they can to control their expartner.
    Its rediculous and harmful behaviour. Our courts, social services and police enable thos type of mamipulation. Its bat shit crazy!! – how much money as a nation do we waste ‘protecting’ kids from perfectly normal and well balanced parents.
    Tell the crazy bitch to pull herself together. Then tell the father the child needs to come back unharmed or there will be some serious ‘Neglect’ questions to answer when he gets back. Job done. . .
    I bet he would have a fantastic time with his Dad. But would give his mum the biggest hug when he got home.
    Minor parental issue. Nothing more.

  2. Debbie Curle says:

    I agree with Mr. Gibbons – there are some mothers who are totally paranoid and want to wrap children in a bubble and not let hem do anything. That being said, there needs to be some safeguards given by Dad – ie that she be able to contact the child by phone or skype or something occasionally during his time away, and he should provide some type of itinerary and location information.

  3. Debbie Curle says:

    This is an interesting article and Mr. Gibbons comment does have a lot of truth to it. There are many mothers out there who are using their protective instincts to manipulate and control the father’s contact with the child or children. That being said, an itinerary being provided to mom, contact information, and the ability to contact the child by phone either face-time or skype would be a good effort by dad to allay some of her fears.

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