The children were aged 5 2/3, 4 2/3 and 8 months at the date of the alleged wrongful removal. The parents were married and both had custody rights in respect of the children. On 3 April 1995 the mother took the children to England, her State of origin.
The father, a United States serviceman, came to England in January 1988. He married his English wife in England in June 1989. They lived together in England until January 1993. The father was then posted to Iceland. Prior to relocating the family took a short vacation of approximately two months in Michigan. In December 1994, while still in Iceland, the parents separated.
On 28 January 1995 the father filed a divorce suit in the Michigan Circuit Court. On 8 March the Wayne County Circuit Court made an order against the mother, prohibiting the removal of the children to the United Kingdom.
On 28 March the same court made a further order prohibiting the mother from removing the children from the United States base at Keflavik.
The father’s return application was commenced on 8 June 1995.