The child, a boy, was 6 months old at the time of the alleged wrongful removal. He was born in Norway in June 2008. The family had lived together in Norway until the mother moved back to Denmark, her state of origin, in January 2009. The parents met for the first time 16 years ago. In 1994 their daughter was born. The couple split up and in 1997 the father, a Danish citizen, moved to Norway to work. Both the father and the mother started new families.
In January 2007 the father, still living in Norway, contacted the mother in order to see his daughter. The mother came to Norway in January 2007. The parents re-united and married in July 2007. They lived together in Norway. In June 2008 the boy was born. The mother went to Denmark with the boy for a period of approximately 9 weeks in the summer of 2008 and again for 2 weeks in the autumn of 2008 due to the illness and death of the maternal grandfather. On each occasion the mother returned to Norway. At the end of 2008 the couple began to experience marital problems.
In January 2009 the mother moved to Denmark with the boy. The local authority contacted the father several times to inform him that they needed his consent to change the boy’s habitual residence. The father did not respond to the letters. In March 2009 the father came to Denmark to visit the boy. He stayed at the mother’s home during his visit. The parents disagreed whether the father, during his visit, had consented to changing the boy’s habitual residence from Norway to Denmark.
The father claimed he had only signed a statement of consent so the boy could get a doctor and day-care, and he had not signed a statement of change of habitual residence. The local authority lost the form, but claimed that the father had signed a statement of change of the boy’s habitual residence.
In May/June 2009 the father visited the boy again in Denmark. He did not stay at the mother’s house because of disagreements. The mother attacked the father, who then reported her to the police. The father wanted to take the boy with him to Norway, but left without him.
In the autumn of 2009 the mother petitioned for separation and full custody. In February 2010 the father petitioned for return. The Bailiff’s Court dismissed the return application on 29 March 2010. The father appealed.