A mother has lost her appeal against a court ruling that her son should live with his father.
The case involved a couple who had separated on bad terms having had four children together.
The older three children lived with the mother and the fourth child, who was five, lived with the father.
The judge had been involved in many hearings in relation to the family and had made findings that the mother’s conduct alienated the children from their father and made them hostile to the idea of having contact with him.
A consultant psychiatrist had been instructed to assist the family. The mother had not changed her behaviour and the judge found that she had recruited the three older children to lie in her campaign against the father.
He found that she had caused emotional harm to all her children and that they should all go to live with the father, but recognised that such a move would not be possible given their entrenched views. He ordered a transfer of the residence of the third child to the father.
The older two children remained with the mother.
The mother appealed on the grounds that the judge had not undertaken a sufficient analysis of each of the children’s welfare requirements and had not taken account of adverse findings in relation to the father.
The Court of Appeal ruled against her. It held that the judge had presided over many hearings in relation to the family and made damning findings in relation to the mother. He had noted that the father was committed to the children’s best interests but that the mother was not.
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