The parties lived in Spain, they separated in 1998 and divorced in 1999. Their two children, boys aged 10 and 13, lived with the mother after the separation and divorce. The mother had some custody rights, “custodia” and “cuidado”, but other custody rights, notably, patria potestas, were shared by the parents. The mother took the children to Iceland in September 1999.
In November 1999 the father requested the return of the children through the Spanish Central Authority. On 19 April 2000 the District Court of Reykjanes refused to order the return of the boys. The mother had claimed to have sole custody which enabled her to decide where the children should reside.
The father appealed to the Supreme Court of Iceland. Leave was given for the submission of further evidence, including a psychiatrist’s report regarding the views of the younger child and statements from a Spanish Judge and from the Central Authority of Spain regarding the Spanish law on custody.