(European Court of Human Rights; 13 October 2011)
At issue was whether interference with Art 8 rights by reason of length of custody and contact proceedings and by reason of failure to enforce interim contact arrangements.
When the mother left the father, the children were aged 7 and 4 and remained in father's care. Shortly after the father issued custody/contact proceedings, the mother took the children to live with her. The court granted interim custody to the father, but this decision was not enforced and was in any event revoked shortly afterwards when the mother objected. The father experienced some problems with contact, but attempted to reach agreement with the mother. The court took 16 months to reach a fresh interim decision to grant provisional custody to the mother with new provisional contact arrangements for only 2 hours contact a week.
The father's appeal was partially successful and contact was much increased.