February 8, 2016

Mother’s deteriorating health means she can move to Poland with her daughter

The child, ‘AZ’, was born in England and currently lives with her mother in Sheffield. She has regular contact with her father, who is also from Poland.

AZ was the result of a three-year relationship between her parents, who never married. Her mother arrived in England in 2010 while her father has been in the country for “some considerable time”.

In September 2015, the mother launched an application for permission to return to Poland and take AZ with her. She said she could not continue to live in England, that she was isolated and suffered from depression. If she lived in Poland, she would have the support of a large extended family and many friends.

Her sense of isolation was fuelled, she claimed, after AZ’s passport was destroyed by one of her parents in an argument, meaning she and her daughter could not visit Poland to see her parents.

Her application sets out the following narrative: “I cannot continue to live in this country. I am isolated and I suffer from depression.

“In Poland, I will have support from my parents and family members. In this country, I have few friends. I feel trapped in this country and recently I have met with racism aimed at me and my daughter. This is having a further negative impact on me.”

AZ’s mother had already discussed with the paternal family a proposal for them to have regular visits with AZ.

At the Family Court in Sheffield, Mr Justice Cobb declared that “it would be in AZ’s interests that her mother be permitted to remove her to live permanently in Poland”.

He ruled that the father should visit AZ once a month and that the former couple must “contribute one-half each to the cost of the father’s flight to Poland each month at the cheapest available fare”.

He added: “While acutely conscious of the significant diminution of her relationship with her father which will be caused by this move, I consider that the losses to AZ were she to remain living here would potentially be much greater – deteriorating health of the mother, with a correspondingly elevated risk that the mother would become emotionally unavailable to her.

“This permission is granted on the strict condition that the contact proposed by the mother is facilitated as she proposes. This frequency of contact is crucial in preserving the vital relationship which AZ currently enjoys with her father and her paternal family. In addition to the direct contact, there will be indirect contact by way of Skype, and in due course, other means.”

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