Mum ordered to keep young son in Edinburgh

The boy must be kept in Edinburgh, the court ruled
The boy must be kept in Edinburgh, the court ruled

A MUM who wants to live near her family in England with her young son following the breakdown of her marriage has been ordered to keep him in Edinburgh.

A judge ruled that there were “no compelling reasons” for the two-year-old to be taken from the Capital to Bromsgrove, in Worcestershire, by his mother to live.

Lady Wise said it would be impossible for the father, a 40-year-old partner in a law firm, to play an active role in his son’s educational upbringing were he to live 300 miles away.

The ruling came after the 32-year-old mother went to court seeking orders allowing the child to live with her and to take him down south – both of which were opposed by the father.

Neither of the parents involved can be named for legal reasons, while the child was identified only as ‘O’.

Giving her judgement at the Court of Session in Edinburgh on Thursday, Lady Wise said: “Attendance by his parents at nursery meetings, school parents’ evenings, sports days and the like are events that are already not too far away in the life of this young child.

“The opportunity is there for both parents to attend such events, either separately or together, if he remains in the Edinburgh area.”

Lady Wise said the mother’s desire to return to her hometown to live near relatives and old school friends was entirely understandable.

She said: “Although she has lived in Scotland for some years now, the breakdown of her marriage has resulted in her altering her view in relation to a desire to live in Scotland.

“Accordingly, if this was a question of what the pursuer (the mother) wanted or even what is best for the pursuer, her plan to relocate to Bromsgrove appears rational, reasonable and understandable.

“However, what I require to consider are the advantages and disadvantages for O of a move to Bromsgrove.

“There appears to be nothing in the evidence about O’s daily life in Edinburgh that is negative and would suggest that he would benefit in a positive sense from being taken to live in Bromsgrove.

“There would, of course, be one significant impact on his life were he to relocate and that is that his relationship with his father would be detrimentally affected.”

Lady Wise found that the father was routinely and actively engaged in the care of his son.

She said: “There was no real suggestion that the defender was anything other than soft, appropriate and loving to his young son when he did and does spend time with him.”

The judge said the mother and her witnesses, particularly her family, had mounted a serious attack on the father in the case, but she did not accept evidence that he was manipulative or controlling in the way described.

Lady Wise rejected making a residence order in favour of the mother and said the father had accepted that at this stage in the boy’s young life it was appropriate for him to spend more time with his mother than with him

She said: “The parties will simply have to work together as best they can to ensure that O is not exposed to any ongoing animosity between them.

“I am confident that they both care so deeply for their child that they will be capable of putting his interests before their own in this respect. By and large they have managed to so while living under the same roof but separated.”