The case concerned two children aged 14 and 15. The parents had separated after 15 years of marriage in 2005. The separation was contentious. According to the French divorce judgment delivered in 2008, the children’s habitual residence would be with their mother while the father would have a right of access, parental authority being shared. This system had operated without major problems for years; the parents as well as the children lived in France.
In 2008, the mother proposed to move to Quebec; the children agreed but the father objected. The mother and children nevertheless moved on 28 December 2008.On 6 January 2009, the father applied for the children’s return.