What 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)  1 FLR 1785)- a last resort after four years of no contact. The Court of Appeal upheld that decision in Re S (A Child)  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 mother could not...
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