Transatlantic Child Maintenance Storm Breaks Over One-Day-Old Baby

1st March 2021 By

Some relationships sadly do not survive the prospect of impending parenthood and that can result in children being born into the teeth of a legal storm. In one case, a little girl was only one day old when she became the subject of child maintenance proceedings on both sides of the Atlantic.

The girl’s British mother met her American father whilst she was living in New York. He was a remarkably wealthy man with assets valued at about $130 million and an income of about $900,000 a month. They lived an extremely affluent lifestyle and discussed marriage, to the point where he formally asked her father for her hand.

The relationship, however, swiftly deteriorated after she became pregnant and she returned to the UK without giving prior notice to the father. He asserted, but she denied, that it was her profligate spending and liberal use of his credit card that placed an irredeemable strain on the relationship.

The father launched proceedings in the US and the mother did the same in the UK when their daughter was one day old. Disputes between them ensued on matters including the Christian name the girl should be given, whether the father should appear on her birth certificate and whether she should bear the surname of her mother or her father or a hyphenated combination of both.

The father, however, did not dispute his parenthood, that his daughter was habitually resident in this country and that the English courts thus had jurisdiction to consider child maintenance issues. Negotiations in that respect had continued for a time but ultimately came to nought. In those circumstances, the mother sought pre-trial financial orders against the father.

Ruling on the case, the High Court did not accept all of the mother’s financial claims. However, it directed the father to pay more than £150,000 towards her legal costs, £70,000 in interim financial support for his daughter, a £15,000 deposit on a rented flat, the cost of employing a nanny and other expenses. The Court noted that the mother had given promising indications that she was willing to engage in settlement negotiations on all matters relating to her daughter’s welfare.

Source: Concious

Latest News

Creating a Family Trust? Are You Sure It Reflects Your True Intentions?

20th April, 2021 By

Rather than giving money to your children directly, you may choose for a variety of good reasons to provide for them by way of a discretionary trust. Such a step is a serious matter, however, and as a High Court case underlined, it is extremely difficult to alter a trust deed after it has been formally executed. The case concerned a father who wished to make provision for his three children from an inheritance of about £450,000 that he had received from his mother. He signed a deed that varied...

Sensible Divorcees Put Personal Animosity Aside – Court of Appeal Ruling

15th April, 2021 By

Any good lawyer will tell you that it is far better for divorcing couples to agree how their assets should be divided, rather than fighting it out in court. A Court of Appeal case showed, however, that, where personal animosity persists, it is only too easy for the terms of such agreements to themselves become the subject of dispute. The case concerned a very wealthy couple who, following highly acrimonious divorce proceedings, resolved to settle their differences. They signed a consent order which it was hoped would lead to a...

COVID-19 – High Court Authorises Vaccination of Elderly Dementia Sufferer

12th April, 2021 By

Should vulnerable people who lack the mental capacity to make important decisions for themselves be vaccinated against COVID-19 even in the face of objections from their loved ones? The High Court confronted that uniquely difficult issue in the case of an 80-year-old care home resident who was suffering from dementia. The woman's son did not object to vaccination in principle but was deeply sceptical about the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and the speed at which they had been authorised for use. In opposing her vaccination, he argued that her wishes...

In Dispute with Your Neighbour? A Lawyer Will Help to Restore Peace

9th April, 2021 By

Disputes between neighbours frequently inflict enormous emotional and financial harm on all involved. A High Court dispute concerning use of a shared driveway showed why any lawyer would advise sensible negotiation as a far better alternative to litigation. A couple's right of way over the driveway, by which they accessed their rural home, was restricted to passage on foot or by private motor vehicles. Their neighbour, with whom they shared the driveway, launched proceedings against them alleging that they were in long-standing breach of that restriction by permitting its use...