'Arranged marriage is living hell' - Mother who moved to Sheffield from Florida with daughter embroiled in bitter custody battle

Two American children are at the centre of an international family court fight after their mother moved to Sheffield, complaining that her arranged marriage had become a 'living hell'.

Monday, 6th November 2017, 3:51 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 10:35 am
The case was heard in the Family Division of the High Court

The children, a boy aged eight and a girl aged five, had been living in Florida, USA with their parents who are of Pakistani descent, a judge in London heard.

Mr Justice Holman said the woman had left the USA earlier this year with her daughter and the pair were now living in the Sheffield area.

The boys' father had subsequently begun litigation and asked for a judge to order his daughter's return to the USA.

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Details of the case have emerged in a ruling by Mr Justice Holman following a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in October.

The judge said he had examined preliminary issues and had made no decisions.

He has not identified the family involved.

"Both these parents are of Pakistani descent," said Mr Justice Holman in the ruling.

"The father has lived for many years in America. The parties married in Pakistan in August 2005. It was apparently an arranged marriage, and they only actually met each other a couple of times in the week immediately preceding the marriage.

"In due course, the wife, as she then was, travelled to America to live there with her husband. Now, both parents are citizens of the United States."

Mr Justice Holman added: "The mother has made one statement. She asserts that she 'suffered 12 years of severe psychological, emotional, and physical torture and abuse by (the father)' and her parents-in-law.

"She alleges, as part of the background to the whole marriage, that the father is or was 'a chronic alcoholic'."

He added: "She refers to, 'what, to me, had become a living hell for me and my children'."

Mr Justice Holman said the man denied the woman's allegations - although admitted to having had a 'drink problem' in the 'distant past'.