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Louisa Gothard
Louisa Gothard
Senior Solicitor, Head of Family Law
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CONTACT: Re C (Residence Order)
Date:7 JUN 2007

(Court of Appeal; Ward, Thomas and Richards LJJ; 3 July 2007)

The five year old child had lived all her life with her mother. The mother had refused contact between the child and the father since October 2003, meaning that the father had become a 'virtual stranger' to the child. Following, inter alia, V v V [2004] EWHC 1215 (Fam), [2004] 2 FLR 851 and Re A [2007] All ER (D) 156 (Jun) the judge made an order for the transfer of residence of the child from the mother to the father.

The mother's appeal against the decision was dismissed and the matter was remitted back to the court for ancillary orders relating to contact, therapy for the child and family assistance. The Court of Appeal stressed the importance of courts acting robustly in cases of failing and/or failed contact. The full appeal in this case was heard within six working days of the date of the first instance judgment, illustrating the speed with which appeals in family cases can be heard.