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Child ordered to be returned to the jurisdiction of England and Wales

By: Shane Kiely BL

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High Court, in hearing an application brought by a father living in the jurisdiction of England and Wales, orders that a four-year-old child be returned to that jurisdiction, on the grounds that the child was habitually resident there until being removed in April 2018 by the mother.

Applicant (the father of a child) seeks the return of the child to England and Wales pursuant to the provisions of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (hereinafter “the Hague Convention”) and EU Council Regulation 2201/2003 - child, N, who is three years old, is currently living in Ireland with his mother, the respondent in these proceedings - date upon which they came to live in Ireland is the core matter in dispute in the case - Child N was born on the 8th September, 2014 within the jurisdiction of England and Wales - applicant took the first step necessary to instituting these proceedings by an application on the 8th June, 2018 to the Central Authority of England and Wales - Special Summons stated that the respondent mother had wrongfully retained the child in Ireland in April 2018 when she failed to return the child following an agreed holiday - applicant is a Lithuanian national and the respondent a Latvian national - mother did not comply with deadline to file replying affidavit - mother's first affidavit failed to provide a coherent, meaningful chronology of events - mother was married in this jurisdiction in 2012 to Mr S - father averred that marriage to Mr S was marriage of convenience - applicant has proved that the child’s habitual residence was that of England and Wales until April 2018 - there was no consent on the part of the father at any time to the child coming to Ireland to live on a permanent basis - records from the English preschool, which show substantial attendance dates by the child there between September 2017 and March 2018, at a time when the mother claims to have been living in Ireland, together with the sworn evidence of the mother that she herself registered the child with this school in July 2017 - detailed payslips in respect of the mother having worked in England for the period September 2017 to April 2018 - order for the return of the child to the jurisdiction of England and Wales - court seeking to refer this matter to the relevant immigration authorities.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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