Member Login

Court directs that child be returned to his native country

By: Colm Scott Byrne BL

or click here to request site subscription to search and view all judgments

High Court, in child abduction proceedings, directs that the applicant's child be returned to his native country under the Hague Convention, on the grounds that: (a) the decision by the respondent mother to move to Ireland with the child did not have the fixed and permanent quality required to change habitual residence; (b) there was insufficient evidence to justify a conclusion that the habitual residence of the child had changed and the applicant satisfied the Court that child’s habitual residence remained the same throughout August 2020; and (c) none of the matters raised by the respondent were sufficient to establish a risk of grave harm to this child as defined in the relevant case law under the Convention.

Child abduction - family law - Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction 1980 - the applicant father sought the return of his 6-year old son - the respondent mother brought her son to Ireland from a non-EU country in August of 2020 and began her new job here - the relationship between the applicant and the father ended in 2018 and the parties were not living together at the time that the respondent moved to Ireland - the applicant had access visits to his son but no custody rights at the time the respondent moved to Ireland as the parties never married and the law in the applicant’s home country did not recognise such rights in respect of unmarried fathers at that time - the respondent had no connection to Ireland and was a native of another EU Member State - the respondent informed the applicant on 18 August 2020 that she and their son were in Ireland - the applicant issued proceedings on 20 August 2020 in his native country - the local Family Court of his native country granted the applicant rights of custody in an ex parte application on 21 August 2020 - the respondent filed a document entitled “Narrative Statement” in the Family Court proceedings contesting the order made in respect of custody rights - the Family Court in the native country order that the child be returned to that country on 20 October 2020 notwithstanding the respondent's objections - the respondent was entitled to remove the child on the date that they did so as it was prior to the application for custody - whether or not the applicant, who had no legal rights of custody in respect of this child at the time of his removal, could acquire legal rights of custody after removal, such that the retention of the child in Ireland became wrongful - the country from which the child was removed has never been part of the European Union but is a signatory State to the Convention - habitual residence - whether the child remained habitually resident in their native country until the time the Order was made by the Family Court granting the applicant custody rights - High Court directs that the child be returned to the non-EU Country.

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.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *