Must I stay, or can I go? The Bermuda Court refuses an application for leave to remove a child from the jurisdiction, after divorce

In a judgment delivered on 17 March 2017, in the case of FG v HJ [2017] SC (Bda) 24 Div, Mr. Justice Hellman has refused an application by a Mother (a US citizen) seeking leave to remove a child of the marriage, post divorce, from Bermuda, with a view to having the child reside with her (and be educated in) Florida.

The Judge’s judgment is sympathetic to the concerns and positions of both parents, and the Judge does not preclude the possibility of a fresh application being made when the child’s secondary education comes to be considered.

But for present purposes, and for the time being, the Court has held that the child’s primary education should be completed in Bermuda, and that the child should continue to reside in Bermuda.

The judgment provides a graphic illustration of the complications faced by internationally mobile couples and their children, upon divorce, and the challenges faced by the Courts when assessing the welfare of the child based on the evidence adduced before the Court.

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