Return cataclysmic for girl: judge
Judge Coyle said the overseas courts ruled he was not a safety risk to his daughter.
The Appeal Court in the country also found the mother had an “ongoing lack of willingness” to let the father be a meaningful parent.
“Certainly her actions in removing [ the girl] from . . . and hiding from him . . . mean that he has had no ability to be involved in her life,” said Judge Coyle.
Psychology reports accepted by the overseas courts also ruled the father — not the mother — was the primary attachment figure.
But because of the length of their separation, the mother was now her primary attachment figure.
And she would stay in New Zealand if the Family Court ordered her daughter to return to her birth country.
Losing her mother and leaving her life in New Zealand would be “cataclysmic” for the girl, said Judge Coyle.
Despite the mother’s actions in deliberately flouting a foreign court order and the father’s involvement in their daughter’s life, Judge Coyle found returning the girl to Europe was not in her best interests.
Doing so would put her in an “intolerable situation”, in a psychological sense, part of the legal test.
However, Judge Coyle did not re- voke a previous court order preventing the daughter from leaving New Zealand. The judge also did not return her passport.
This leaves the door open for the father to seek day- to- day care of his daughter in New Zealand.
“There is a real risk that if I were to discharge that order, then [ the mother] may attempt to flee.”
However, the father has appealed the Family Court decision to the High Court.
Despite his anguish he wants to share custody in his country with his former partner. He offered to let her live in one of his rental properties.
“I don’t have any bitterness. I just want to see my daughter.”