9Ob59/09f, Oberster Gerichtshof

INCADAT legal file Hague parental abduction

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The child was born in 2004 in the United States of America. Her parents were opera singers and had joint custody. The child lived in California for three years and then in Pennsylvania for some time at her grandparents’ home, always with her parents.
On 14 September 2007 the family left for Austria, where it was intended they would live, in Vienna, until June 2008. In this, the father respected the mother’s wish to provide a stable environment for her child in a place where she could combine her role as mother with her career. It is not clear whether the parents had discussed the conditions for a possible return to the United States of America. They were travelling with tourist visas.
Upon their arrival, the mother found employment in a school. The mother only auditioned once between October 2007 and February 2008, such that it was doubtful whether she would be taken on permanently as a singer as she had initially wished. From December, after spending 6 weeks in the United States of America, the father asked the mother to reconsider her plans. The parents finally separated in February 2008.
The father had a contract in Vienna starting in June 2008. He lived in the United States of America for the three months prior to that date. He lived in Vienna from June to December 2008, and then in Amsterdam until May 2009. He then planned to live in California.
In September 2008, he applied for return of the child to the United States of America. On 26 November 2008, the District Court in Vienna (Bezirksgericht Innere Stadt Wien) rejected his application. On 24 March 2009, this decision was confirmed on appeal. The father lodged an appeal with the Supreme Court.