Donna Horsfall v Alexander Albani [2016] NZFC 2357

Published 31 July 2016

Order preventing removal — dispute between guardians — relocation — Care of Children Act 2004, ss 46R, 77, 135A — cost contribution. The father sought an order under s 77 preventing the child’s removal from New Zealand, as the mother wished to relocate to Australia. The mother sought direction from the Court under s 46R in order to resolve the dispute. The Court declined to grant the s 77 order, and instead provided a clarified parenting order allowing the relocation of mother and child. Contact terms were also set out which incorporated the ongoing implications of an existing protection order against the father. The proceedings were conducted on a formal proof basis following the father’s failure to appear, and it was acknowledged that the child was in day-to-day care of the mother. The father’s contact was described as “sporadic”. The mother demonstrated intention to involve the father and paternal family in the child’s life, despite the intended relocation, and had legitimate reasons for emigrating to Australia. Costs were sought for Lawyer for the Child under s 135A of the Act, although as the mother was legally aided and there were no exceptional circumstances present, the Judge declined to order a cost contribution from her because it would cause serious financial hardship. The issue was to be determined at a later stage for the father due to lack of information before the Court regarding his financial circumstances. **Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements. **Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements.