P and Q (Rights of Custody, Settlement, Grave Risk of Harm, Objections), Re [2024] EWHC 991

Henry Setright KC and Julia Gasparro, instructed by Lucy Jones of Avery Naylor, represented the respondent mother. This matter concerned an application issued in July 2023, by the father pursuant to the Child Abduction and Custody Act 1985 for a summary return order, under the 1980 Hague Convention. The application concerned two children, aged 11 & 9 whom the father asserted had been wrongfully removed from the USA by the mother in breach of his rights of custody in September 2020.

The mother succeeded in defending this application, relying, inter alia, on Article 3 - rights of custody, and the children’s objections to returning to the USA under Article 13. The Court considered the law and authorities on Article 3 and found that the father was not exercising custody rights at that time that the mother removed the children.  The Court also found, in the alternative, the children’s objections to returning to the USA were authentically made out, and considering all the factors, would not have ordered a return.

Full Judgment

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