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Delayed applications less likely to succeed

Application under the Hague Convention by father for summary return to France of his two children. Application dismissed.

A reminder not to delay acting/applying.

Acting earlier than later indicates the issue is of concern to you and that you are motivated to work on it.

Delays in acting against the other party can be interpreted as approval of or agreement with the actions of the other party.
B-G v B-G [2008] EWHC 688 (Fam) [BRITAIN]

Family Law Week / Cases / Judgments (full text) / B-G v B-G [2008] EWHC 688 (Fam)


Application under the Hague Convention by father for summary return to France of his two children. Application dismissed.

The couple had married in 2003, after the birth of their twins, and then moved to France in 2004. Between that time and the removal of the children in October 2006 it was evident that the children were habitually resident in France. The marriage was soon in trouble and in October 2006 the wife returned to England with the children, making it clear that she would not return to France. On arrival in England she initiated divorce proceedings. The father apparently consulted three French lawyers but not one of them advised issuing an application under the Hague Convention. This last fact led to the unusual situation that the application for return was only issued at the instigation of the High Court, in the course of the divorce proceedings, as the judge felt that the Convention had been engaged.

The mother admitted that the children had been wrongfully removed and her only defence was that the father had acquiesced as attendance notes, written by his solicitor in relation to the divorce proceedings, revealed that he had both had knowledge of the possibility of issuing an originating summons and had considered restarting his life in England. Coleridge J, while accepting that the father had not received the correct advice, concluded that the father had known that an application could be made and so the mother reasonably thought that he had accepted the situation.

Having found the defence of acquiescence proved, Coleridge J exercised his discretion to refuse an order for return as it was not in the best interests of the children. He also added that he did not think that it was certain that any proceedings issued in a French court would result in an order for return of the children.
Read the complete B-G v B-G [2008] EWHC 688 (Fam) Judgment at Family Law Week (Britain)
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