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Hayley Trim's Analysis: The battle against alienation

Date:20 AUG 2010

Hayley Trim  Family Law PSLWhat is the right approach to rebuilding the relationship between a parent and an alienated child? How far should the parent and the court go? How do you measure and balance the harm to the child of the lost relationship with a parent against being forced by whatever means to re-engage with that parent? The Re S case is a stark illustration of these dilemmas.

On 4 January 2010 HHJ Bellamy ordered the transfer of residence of a profoundly alienated 12 year old boy S from his mother to his father (Re S (Transfer of Residence) [2010] 1 FLR 1785)- a last resort after four years of no contact. The Court of Appeal upheld that decision in Re S (A Child) [2010] EWCA Civ 219.

How the order would be implemented was the subject of a further hearing and a further appeal. The judge's decision that if the...

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