The boy’s father had obtained an order prohibiting the mother from taking him on holiday to Turkey. The mother applied to the court for a review. Her father – the boy’s grandfather – provided evidence that he would not try to persuade her to remain in Turkey. He also said he would do his best to return the boy to the UK if the mother decided to flout the court order.

The judge, however, was not convinced. In fact, there were parts of the grandfather’s evidence relating to family dynamics that alarmed her. The judge therefore refused the application.

The mother appealed saying there was no evidence of Turkey failing to conform to the Hague Convention provisions on child abduction and so therefore there had to be execeptional reasons to deny her a short holiday in her homeland with her son.

the Court of Appeal ruled against her. It agreed that it was important for the UK to honour its obligations under international treaties. However, it was for the judge who heard the application to evaluate the grandfather’s evidence.

There was no doubt that his performance in the witness box had failed to reassure the judge and in fact had caused her some alarm. That was a sufficiently exceptional reason to justify the judge’s decision.

This did not mean the mother’s case was closed forever. The judge had actively encouraged her to reapply when the boy was older and had more regular routine in his life.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of family law.

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