PM v CF, Court of Appeal - Family Division, October 03, 2018, [2018] EWHC 2658 (Fam)

Resolution Date:October 03, 2018
Issuing Organization:Family Division
Actores:PM v CF
 
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No. BM17P08874

Neutral Citation Number: [2018] EWHC 2658 (Fam)

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE

FAMILY DIVISION

Royal Courts of Justice

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Before:

MR JUSTICE KEEHAN

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B E T W E E N :

PM Appellant

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CF Respondent

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MR. C HAMES QC appeared on behalf of the Applicant.

MS. F. JUDD QC and MS COX appeared on behalf of the Respondent.

MS JAFFAR, of Cafcass Legal, appeared on behalf of the Children by their Children's Guardian

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MR JUSTICE KEEHAN:

Introduction

1 In this matter, I am concerned with two children, A, who is five years of age, and B, who is four years of age.

2 The mother of both children is PM and the father of both children is CF. Although he has parental responsibility for A, he does not have parental responsibility for B because the parents were not married at the time of her birth and his name does not appear on the birth certificate.

3 An application has been made on behalf of the mother for a number of orders in respect of the children. First, that the father's parental responsibility in respect of A is terminated. Secondly, that there be permission to the mother to change the forename and surnames of both children. Thirdly that the court makes a s.91(14) order preventing the father from making any application in respect of the children without permission of the court first being obtained.

4 CF, the father, had opposed the making of any of those orders, save that he accepted that:

(a) the children's surnames should be changed and;

(b) a child arrangements order should be made in favour of the mother for the children to live with her.

This matter was set down for today and tomorrow for a fact-finding hearing to determine the truth of serious allegations made by the mother against the father in respect of his alleged abuse of her over an extensive period of time. In support of these allegations, a Scott Schedule was filed and served by the mother which contained nineteen itemised allegations against the father. Some of those allegations the father accepted, the majority he denied.

5 This morning, and after having had the benefit of a consultation with leading counsel, Ms. Judd and junior counsel, Ms. Cox, the father's position dramatically changed. I was told and accept that the father had made further admissions in respect of mother's allegations contained on the Scott Schedule, that he did not oppose the termination of his parental responsibility in respect of A. He accepted that the girls' names, both forenames and surnames, should be changed and he accepted, in principle, that the court should make a s.91(14) order against him.

6 The issues remaining between the parties were threefold. First, the mother, supported by the children's guardian, contended that the s.91(14) order should be for the duration of the whole of the girls' respective minorities, whereas the father submitted that these orders should be limited to three years or perhaps five years. Secondly, the father sought indirect contact by way of letters, perhaps only annually, between him and the children. This application was strenuously opposed by both the mother and the children's guardian as not being in the welfare best interests of either child. Finally, the father sought information to be given to him periodically on how the children were faring. This application was also opposed by the mother and by the children's guardian. It was submitted on behalf of both of them that the only information that should be provided to the father was in the tragic event that one or other of the children died.

7 It had at one stage been floated that the father ought to be notified if the children suffered a life-threatening illness or suffered a life-threatening injury. The mother, supported by the children's Guardian opposed this information being provided to the father on the basis that it would require the...

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