Gay couple’s international child custody battle to be ruled on by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court will consider an international child custody case at an important hearing on the 8th and 9th of December 2015.

The case involves the family of a 7-year-old child (referred to as “P”) who was taken to live in Pakistan in 2014 by her birth mother, after her relationship with her partner unfortunately broke down.

The partner, who was “left behind” in England, argued that the child should be returned to England on the basis that P was a British national.

She also proceeded on the alternative basis that the child was habitually resident in England when she began proceedings under the Children Act.

On 13th of February 2014, a High Court judge found that P was not habitually resident in the UK (albeit that she was probably not habitually resident in Pakistan at that point either). The High Court judge also determined that the return of the child to England was not a sufficiently important issue to justify the exercise of wardship powers.

The decision of the Supreme court will be important in establishing the definition of parenthood and the power of the English Court to make orders about British nationals that are resident overseas.

We will have more on this ruling next week once the Supreme Court has made its decision.

If you or a family member needs advice on the Children Act, or issues similar to this, then please contact our family department today via or on 01273 696962