||All England Reporter
|| All ER (D) 183 (Apr)
|| EWHC 737 (Fam)
||Teertha Gupta for the father.
||Christopher Archer for the mother.
||14 April 2008
Family proceedings - Orders in family proceedings - Contact order - Father abducting child - Mother securing child's return from Tunisia after nine days - Supervised contact subsequently taking place at contact centre - Father applying for unsupervised contact outside contact centre - Whether appropriate to allow unsupervised contact.
Where the father had shown a commitment to monthly supervised contact with his child at a contact centre, subsequent to abducting him for nine days in 2003, his application for unsupervised contact would be allowed. Where there had been an abduction it was that much harder for the abductor to claim that all was now well than it was where there was just fear of such an abduction. In the instant case, were the father to take the child to Tunisia, the prospects of the mother successfully obtaining his return were remote. That was a fearful prospect. As a result, precautions had to be commensurate with that risk. However, the father had respected the mother's wishes and shown a remarkable commitment. Furthemore, as the child became older, the restraints of the contact centre would become more evident, especially since he had enjoyed his father's company outside. It was not in his best interests to revert to a contact centre, provided that progress was steady and aimed at both his best interests and progressing the mother's trust in the father.
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