A LOVING father who thought he had won a fight to keep his toddler son in Yorkshire may be separated from the youngster after an Appeal Court ruling.
The dad – who cannot be named for legal reasons but is Yorkshire born and bred and lives in Huddersfield – is trying to prevent the boy’s mother returning to her native Northern Ireland with her son.
She says she is lonely and depressed in Huddersfield and wants to return to her friends and family following her brief relationship with the father, which broke down soon after the birth of her son.
But last month a judge at Huddersfield County Court ruled that the boy must stay in Yorkshire.
Yesterday that decision was overturned by Lord Justice Thorpe, sitting with Lord Justice Lloyd and Lord Justice Toulson, at the Appeal Court in London.
He said the judge at the county court had overlooked legal authorities which state that only in exceptional circumstances will children be prevented from going to Scotland or Northern Ireland from England when their parents split up.
Lord Justice Thorpe said the mother was being prevented from exercising her reasonable freedom of choice.
He added that, if she is not allowed to return to Northern Ireland, there is a danger that her son will be adversely affected because she is suffering depression.
The case will now return to Huddersfield County Court, where the father will face a new struggle to convince a second judge that his son should stay in Yorkshire.
He is also likely to apply for a residency order, as the boy now lives with his mother.