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Re L

children law advice

International Child Law: Relocation

James Maguire & Co successfully acted on behalf of a father in the reported case of Re L [2012] EWHC 3069 (Fam). 

This involved an application by a mother for a residence order and for leave to remove the child permanently from this jurisdiction of England & Wales; and also the father’s own application for a residence order.

The child had been the subject of 1980 Hague Proceedings where we had assisted the father in returning the child via his US Attorney from the USA to the UK.

The High Court reviewed the existing case law in relation to relocation child cases and summarise the law as follows: the child’s welfare is paramount.  Regard must be had to the statutory checklist in Section 1 (3) of the Children Act 1989, although different weight will be attached to checklist matters depending on the circumstances of the case.  Regard must also be had to the impact of refusal on the child’s welfare, the genuineness of the Applicant’s motive, whether the proposals for relocation were realistic and the genuineness of the Respondent’s opposition.

The High Court Judge refused the mother’s application for leave to permanently remove the child from the jurisdiction.  He did not accept that the mother would sustain contact if allowed to relocate and in any event did not find the fact that the parents had sufficient funds to sustain such contact.  He found that the mother’s response to a refusal of her application would not impact adversely on the child’s welfare.  The Judge accepted the father’s position and this was based on the child’s welfare and his concerns had substance.  The child’s welfare required him to have a relationship with both parents to meet his long term and developmental needs which could not be met if relocation was allowed.

The High Court Judge made a shared residence order on the basis that there were welfare factors which positively supported a shared residence order and no factors that indicated that a shared residence order was not in the child’s paramount welfare.

To seek a copy of this reported case please click here: Re L

James Maguire & Co is a specialist firm of Family Law solicitors based in Wilmslow, Cheshire. We offer legal advice to parties going through a divorce including the financial issues which flow from this and children matters including child maintenance.  We can also advise on Schedule 1 Children Act 1989 applications.

For a free, informal and no obligation consultation please contact James Maguire & Co by telephone +44 (0) 1625 544 650 or email:


For specialist advice on any family law related issue contact Maguire Family Law by email: or telephone:

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