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/ 20 Jul 2011

Ex-Wife refused permission to relocate children to Canada

On 18 May 2011 Judges in the Court of Appeal case of MK v CK allowed the father’s appeal to stop his ex wife from moving to Canada with their children. The Court of Appeal Judges found that the lower court had not balanced the pros and cons of the mother’s application to remove the children from the jurisdiction.

In the past ten years there has been a trend by the courts to allow an application by one parent to move abroad if they had well laid plans, genuine reasons and if forced to stay they would be unhappy and the children would suffer as a result. The Court in this case carefully considered all of the facts and placed strong emphasis on the fact that both parents shared the care of their children. The unanimous ruling of the three panel Court of Appeal stressed that the only principle of law is that the welfare of children is paramount. The court in weighing the balance between the detriment to the children if they remained and the detriment that would result from a diminished relationship with their father if they relocated ruled that it was in the children’s best interests to remain in the UK

MK V CK case facts
The mother is of Canadian origin and the father of Polish origin but spent his childhood in Canada. The parties, who are both bankers, married in London in 2004. They have two daughters aged 4 and 2. The parties divorced in 2010. The parties had a shared residence order, which provided that the practical care of the children was shared by both parents. The mother applied to relocate back to Canada following the divorce as she wanted to be nearer her parents for emotional and material support.

The Court referred to the leading authority of Payne v Payne. They noted that in that case the applicant mother was the primary carer for the children. In such circumstances the court can consider that the children are dependent on the primary carer’s stability and wellbeing.
However the approach in Payne should not be adopted in cases where the practical burden of care is shared between the parents.

How can Hanne & Co help you?

Hanne & Co are one of London’s leading family law firms. Our specialist family law department possesses a wealth of experience in complex relocation proceedings. Following the Court of Appeal ruling in MK v CK it is likely that parents will seek shared care arrangements when dealing with residence applications, particularly where there is an international element e.g. one parent has ties to another country other than England and Wales. As well advising you on these issues we can also advise on other areas of Family Law such as Financial Remedies, Cohabitation, Adoption and Public Law.

Please feel free to enquire with one of our family law team on +44 (020) 7228 0017, alternatively you can contact us through info@hanne.co.uk or via our website www.hanne.co.uk, and one of our experienced family lawyers will be in touch.

About the firm
Hanne & Co is a leading South London firm based in Clapham Junction. Established in 1898 we have a long history and outstanding reputation. As well as services in Family we are experts in Property (residential and commercial), Private Client and Wills, Employment Law, Housing, Landlord and Tenant and Crime. We have a thriving practice with our staff dedicated and committed to providing a quality service at competitive rates.

For further information please contact us at +44 (020) 7228 0017, or contact us through info@hanne.co.uk. You can also find out more about us at our website www.hanne.co.uk or visit our wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HCL_Hanne_&_Co

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