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Edward Bennett
Edward Bennett
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Re E-R (Child Arrangements) [2016] EWHC 805 (Fam)
Date:18 APR 2016
Third slide
Law Reporter
(Family Division, Cobb J, 8 April 2016)

Private law children – Child arrangements – Death of mother – Mother’s wish for child to live with friends – Appeal allowed from decision providing for child to live with father

A child arrangements order was made providing for the child to live with friends of her deceased mother.

The mother of the 7-year-old died of cancer. It fell to be determined whether the child should live with her father or with the mother's family friends, Mr and Mrs H. Prior to her death the mother made it clear that she wished for the child to be raised by Mr and Mrs H and proceedings were commenced.

At first instance the judge decided that the child should live with the father. Mr and Mrs H appealed. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and held that the judge had erred in applying a presumption of natural parents care and had attached too much weight to the biological ties between the child and her father. The case was remitted to a judge of the Family Division.

A child arrangements order was made providing for the child to live with Mr and Mrs H and for her to spend time with her father. Cobb J balanced the child's right to be raised by her own family against the benefit to her remaining with carers with whom she had been living for the last 2 years and her ability to grieve properly and healthily for the loss of her mother.

In this case each of the factors in the welfare checklist was charged with full substance. The factors pointing towards the child living with Mr and Mrs H included: the child wished to remain living with the H's; her physical, emotional and education needs were being met in her current home and she would benefit from community of school and activities; there was a risk of the child suffering psychological harm if she moved to live with her father.

Case No: TR14P00461
Neutral Citation Number: [2016] EWHC 805 (Fam)


Royal Courts of Justice

Date: 08/04/2016

Before :


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Re E-R (Child Arrangements)

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Clare Renton (instructed by Stephens & Scown) for Mrs. H
The father and his partner (Miss B) in personMelanie Johnson (instructed by Walters & Barbary) for the child (T)

Hearing dates: 21-23 March 2016

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