Re P. (A Child) (Abduction: Acquiescence) [2004] EWCA Civ 971

INCADAT legal file Hague parental abduction

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The child, a girl, was 9 at the date of the alleged wrongful removal. The parents, both US citizens, were never married. They separated in 1999. In a court order dated 18 October 1999 the mother was granted sole custody, the father access. The order also provided that apart from temporary vacations the child could not be removed from New York State without a court order or the written agreement of the parties.
Following the parties’ separation the mother met and married an Englishman. Mother and child travelled to England to visit him over Christmas 2002. They returned in January 2003. On 18 February 2003 the mother returned to England with her daughter for an extended visit. The parties disagreed whether this had been done with consent or not.
The father petitioned for custody in New York State. He was granted sole custody on 12 November. He then petitioned for the child’s return under the Convention. On 11 March 2004 the Family Division of the High Court dismissed the father’s application. The father appealed.