Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Adequacy is relative

Current Awareness has flagged up a link to a story in the Telegraph yesterday that might raise some eyebrows: "A divorcĂ©e has won the right to move abroad with her three children after judges ruled that the £610,000 she received in her divorce settlement from her wealthy husband would not be enough to buy an adequate home in London."

The mother wanted to take the children to her native Sweden, but the father objected, and the county court refused her permission to take them abroad. That order has now been overturned by the Court of Appeal, partly because the mother would be left with only about £600,000 to buy a home, and partly because not enough account had been taken of the children's wishes.

Six hundred thousand pounds not enough to buy a home? I hear you say. Well, the point is that the lifestyle that the family has enjoyed and can expect to enjoy is relevant. As Lord Justice Wilson stated in the Court of Appeal: "The father cannot accommodate the mother and the children adequately in London with a fund of only £610,000. To many that proposition will seem extraordinary. But adequacy is relative - both to the quality of accommodation which they have enjoyed and to that which they would enjoy in Sweden."

Still, having said that, I wouldn't mind six hundred grand to splash on a pad...

6 comments:

  1. Now I thought you couldn't buy a house in London for less than half a million- lol.

    Relocation is a difficult issue which affects me personally. I commute to Benelux and Germany on average twice a week and when we separated it made practical sense to move abroad. However, at that time the children moved relatively freely between two homes (just not overnights!) so I gave up on the idea. Then my ex-husband moved 400 miles away and as the eldest child was about to embark on the regime of exams I have been stuck here at considerable expense ever since. Grr.....

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  2. Well, I guess that's what you get for being unselfish...

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  3. 600K not enough !!! What utter twoddle! The lower court was right to deny removal based on that argument.

    One has to ask what motivates separated parents to move away from the other parent, thus seriously impacting the child's ability to be parented by both parents.

    This story shows that leave to remove from jurisdiction is still an almost given.

    Re. the appeal overturning of the lower court.
    I don't know the details re. child's wishes or age & awareness. Nor whether undue influence was put on the child to express certain views. However, it goes back to why such parents deliberately move at the cost of the child/other parent relationship. The child's wishes certainly wasn't the first line of attack here.

    Sorry to hear that Fiona's ex didn't make the same considered approach she took. Selfishness knows no bounds.

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  4. Just read the interesting article on Family Law week regarding LTR cases from a lawyers point of view:

    http://www.familylawweek.co.uk/library.asp?i=3597
    Leave to Remove: A Lawyer’s (all too personal) view

    Would be interested in hearing comments or how such cases could be better handled.

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  5. Unselfish? I thought from the biological POV looking after children was insurance to cover care in old age. ;-)

    Interestingly here in Scotland I don't think the 'adequacy' of £600k to buy a pad would be an issue because the law is underpinned with the expectation of a readjustment to a lower standard of living or a return to independence on divorce.

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  6. I have no expectation of my son looking after me in old age!

    Those things do apply south of the border, but perhaps the courts here try harder to maintain living standard where children are involved, if possible, although it can seem rather materialistic.

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