(Court of Appeal, Thorpe, Rafferty, Kitchin LJJ, 16 April 2013)
The father was granted contact with his two children on a supervised basis due to concerns that if unsupervised he would remove the children to his homeland.
The father applied for a variation of the contact arrangements because the contact agency was no longer willing to facilitate contact. He also applied to change the name of the younger child. The judge reduced the arrangements to only indirect contact and refused the change of name application without providing reasons. The father appealed.
The judge was under a duty to explore every possible option for continuing supervised contact and he had failed to do so. He had also overlooked his responsibility to rule on the change of name application.
The order for supervised contact was restored and the change of name application remitted to the county court.