M. v. H. [Custody] [2006] NZFLR 623

INCADAT legal file Hague parental abduction

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The child, a boy, was almost four years old at the date of the alleged wrongful removal. He had spent his entire life in New Zealand. His parents were not married and had ended their relationship eight months prior to the birth. Following the birth the father had regular contact with his son.
In late September 2004 the mother took the child to London. Several weeks later she advised the father that she intended to remain there. On 29 October 2004 the father filed a return petition with the New Zealand Central Authority. Return proceedings were issued in the High Court in London on 15 November 2004.
At a hearing on 16 December 2004 it was agreed that the father would obtain from a competent New Zealand court a determination of his rights in relation to the child and a decision on whether the removal had been wrongful within the meaning of Articles 3 and 5. On 21 February 2005 the Family Court of New Zealand ruled that the father had rights of custody and that the removal was wrongful. The mother appealed.