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Recognition of Foreign Residence Order

Family and Children

In the case of Re LSdC (a child) (recognition of foreign order) [2012], The Family Division considered a father’s application to enforce a residence judgement by a Portuguese court.

The mother was English and the father Portuguese.  The child was born in England in April 2011.  From June 2011 the mother, father and child lived with the father’s family in Portugal.  Whilst in Portugal the mother was said to be feeling down and was prescribed anti-anxiety drugs.  By the November the mother wanted to leave Portugal and return to England with the child.  The father refused to consent to the child being removed.  The local Portuguese Commission for the Protection of Children and Juveniles (CJPC) became involved with the family.  During a meeting between the CJPC and both parents an agreement was reached for the parents to have equal shared care, with the child spending time in Portugal and England on a two monthly rotating basis.  This would continue until the child’s third birthday after which the child should establish residence with one of the parents.

When the mother returned to England she applied for a residence order through the English courts.  The father made an application for the Portuguese judgement to be recognised.

The Family Division of England and Wales held that without reviewing the substance of the case it would be against public policy to recognise the Portuguese judgment according to article 23(a) of Council Regulation (EC) 2201/2003.

The English courts had jurisdiction to hear the mother’s application.  Due to the mother’s mental health it was in her best interests for the proceedings to be held in England.  An order was made staying the Portuguese judgement and prohibiting the removal of the child from England until further order of the court unless for contact purposes.

Family Solicitors Eastbourne, Hailsham, Polegate, East Sussex

If you would like advice on children matters please contact our Family Law Department for a free, no obligation, initial appointment please contact Eastbourne 01323 727321 or Hailsham 01323 841481.

Nicholas Dennis
Nicholas Dennis
Alexandra Funnell
Alexandra Funnell
Guy Brown
Guy Brown
Carolyn Richards
Carolyn Richards