Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Ignoring good advice

Parents involved in battles over arrangements for their children invariably receive advice - from lawyers, Cafcass officers, judges and others - to bring their conflicts to an end. Sadly, the advice is all too often ignored.

In B v C the parents, both of whom have strong family ties to Israel, initially litigated in that country over arrangements for their son, who is now three years of age. In September 2013 the Family Court in Tel Aviv granted the mother's application for permission to return to the UK with the child. There have been court proceedings relating to the child in this country ever since.

Those proceedings culminated, somewhat ironically, with an application by the mother for permission to return with the child to Israel. The application was granted by Mr Justice Keehan, who mentioned in his judgment the advice of the Cafcass officer to the effect that whilst the child was presently too young to know much of what is happening around him, it was only a matter of time before he "becomes aware of his exposure to the ongoing dispute which will then begin to impact very negatively upon his emotional and behavioural development."

One would hope that after hearing this the parents would learn their lesson, and find a way of working together for their child. Not so. In a supplemental judgment we hear that the father has followed the mother to Israel and has issued an application for custody there.

And so it goes on…

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