The case concerned four children born between 2000 and 2005 to married parents. Pursuant to the parents’ divorce in 2007, the family members had remained resident in Belgium and the children under shared custody, spending one week with one parent and the next with the other, and the parents had joint parental authority.
In September 2011, the children did not return to the father as planned. The father immediately entered a return application. In the first instance and on appeal, the children’s immediate return was ordered. The Court of Appeal found that the removal was wrongful and that none of the exceptions applied. It awarded costs against the mother. The mother appealed to the Supreme Court.