(Court of Appeal, Thorpe, Munby LJJ, 12 October 2012)
The child lived with the mother under a residence order and had contact with the father. When a district judge suspended contact the father alleged that the mother's day-to-day care of the child was deficient.
A full investigation took place and the mother provided detailed responses to all of the allegations. After the father had given evidence for an hour and a quarter the judge intervened, stated there was no real evidence of neglect and that the father had failed to show cause to support a change of residence.
The father appealed. The paramount consideration was the welfare of the child. A judge in family proceedings had far wider powers to halt proceedings than in civil litigation. If a child would gain no advantage it was within the judge's discretion to discontinue proceedings. Appeal dismissed.