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UK cannot intervene in baby case

UK cannot intervene in baby case

English judges are not permitted to intervene in the case of a baby boy facing his early life spent as a “shuttlecock” between the UK and Portugal, after a ruling by the Court of Appeal.

An arrangement was made for “baby L”, whose mother is English and father is Portuguese, to be moved back and forth between the two countries every two months, thereby allowing the parents to care for the child equally.

The agreement was then converted into a court order by a Portuguese judge while the mother and child were living in Portugal, to run until the child turned three. But on her return to British shores, the mother claimed she was “coerced” into making the agreement.

Family Division judge Mrs Justice Macur had originally ruled that further court proceedings relating to the child’s residence should be dealt with by the English courts, due to his “particular connection with England”. Mrs Macur admitted she does not consider it to be “in the best interests of an infant to become a shuttlecock during his early and crucial age of emotional development”.

However, the father was allowed to appeal and eventually the court ruled that the baby must be returned to Portugal where the Portuguese courts can deal with the situation and decide what should happen next.

Our Family and Matrimonial team helps families across West London and Bucks. For advice, contact a member of the team, call us on 01494 790058 or email familylaw@ibblaw.co.uk.