Case Study: Mother Wanted to Take Child back to Poland without Father’s Consent

Posted on: 4 mins read
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Lorraine Harvey

Partner, Family Law

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TW: This article covers themes of domestic abuse.

*Names have been changed for confidentiality.

A Family Law Case Study – Client Situation

A Polish woman called Miss S had a young son with her former partner. She was a victim of domestic violence by this individual, which is why she left him shortly after their son was born.

Because of this, Miss S decided that she needed to obtain a Non Molestation Order from the Court, to prevent her former partner from harassing or contacting her.

What is a Non-Molestation Order?

In England and Wales, a Non-Molestation Order prohibits a person (the respondent) from molesting the person applying for an Order (the applicant) or a related child.

Non-Molestation Orders are used to protect the person applying for the Order from the respondent’s behaviour. Non-Molestation Orders are often used to protect victims of domestic violence, but this is not their only purpose.

Examples of ‘molestation’ are:

  • Acts or threats of violence
  • Use of abusive language
  • Stalking
  • Abusive messaging e.g. text messaging or Facebook messages


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The Case Study of Miss S 

Unfortunately, instead of securing the Non-Molestation Order, which can lead to a criminal conviction if breached, Court undertakings (a promise to the Court) were made instead. With a Court undertaking the party making the promise signs it at the hearing, and if they fail to comply, they will face penalties, such as fines or imprisonment. 

This meant that although he promised not to contact her, harass her or come to her house, once the promise was breached, Miss S couldn’t easily report it to the Police and have him arrested unless the breach constituted a criminal offence; as it isn’t approached by the court in the same way as a Non-Molestation Order would.

Immediately after the conclusion of the Non-Molestation application, Miss S’s former partner began harassing her again. Along with the harassment, the partner also applied to the Court for a Child Arrangement Order to be enable the child to spend an equal amount of time with both parents. Miss S had genuine concerns about her former partner having any contact with her son and was extremely upset to think he could be awarded shared care. Not only was he violent, he was a frequent drug user who also drank alcohol to excess and had a criminal record, too.

She also felt that her ex-partner was stalking her and her son. She felt uncomfortable and was worried about how her son would be affected if she was made to share care with her former partner, and wanted to do something about it.

How We Helped

Miss S was still dealing with the impact of domestic violence, and the continuous harassment from her ex-partner. She was fearful about the chance of him being given shared care. This, paired with her family living in Poland, meant that the help and support in her home country would be far more beneficial than staying in the UK.

We needed to prove that moving to another country would outweigh losing a relationship with the father.

We started by sending Miss S’s Specific Issue Order application to the court. This  is  an application used when an agreement can’t be reached about a certain issue regarding a child. This could be anything from a change of child’s name, to taking them out of the UK for a holiday or moving abroad. In making its decision The Family Court will always consider what it feels is in the best interest of the child first.

Evidence we gathered 

To ensure that Miss S had the best possible chance, we gathered evidence about the domestic abuse and violence that Miss S had suffered from her ex-partner. Along with this, Miss S had requested a hair strand test from her former partner, which later confirmed that he was still using drugs. The Court also   ordered his criminal record to be disclosed before making its decision, to ensure that it could get a full picture of this individual.

We showed that Miss S’s life, and that of her son, would be much improved with a move back to her home country..

Our solicitors in Family and Child Law also compiled evidence to demonstrate thehelp she would receive from her family, the standard of housing she would be living in, and the school her son would attend. Through this, we wanted to establish that moving back to Poland would be in the best interest of the child.

The Outcome

At the Final Hearing, the Judge reviewed all the evidence presented to him and decided in favour of the move. He decided that Miss S’s child would have a better life in Poland and that the benefits outweighed any loss he would suffer from having  contact with his father.  He granted a Specific Issue Order, which enabled Miss S to leave the country with her child.

The Judge also ruled that if Miss S’s former partner ever went to visit his son in Poland, all visitation must be supervised.

Contact Us

At the centre of every decision the Court makes is the best interest of your child. You should always seek legal advice to confirm your rights and how you can effectively remove your child from a country or prevent an unlawful removal. 

Our Family and Child Law Solicitors can assist you with your issue and work to resolve it as amicably as possible. Get in touch for initial advice surrounding your case. Call us on 0808 239 3465.


National Centre for Domestic Violence. (2023). Non-Molestation Order.

Simpson Millar LLP. (n.d.). Child Law Solicitors.

Lorraine Harvey

Partner, Family Law

Areas of Expertise:
Family Law

Lorraine is a Partner at Simpson Millar, specialising in Family Law for over 20 years.

She handles middle to high net value cases, including pension claims and complex trust, and also advises on pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements.

Lorraine has unrivalled knowledge of public sector pensions, in particular police pensions, having advised police officers on pension claims for two decades.

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