The application related to two children born on 31 October 2001and 21 June 2005 to a Canadian mother and an American father. The parents had married after the birth of their first child and now lived in Vermont. In June 2010, the mother went to Newfoundland and Labrador with the children for a holiday. The father joined them later due to his work commitments.
The family stayed with the father’s mother. On 2 August 2010 the mother left the father. She removed the children and went to stay in a women’s shelter. She claimed that returning to Vermont would expose the children to an intolerable situation given the father’s heavy drinking and drug use and would risk further psychological, emotional and physical harm.
The father returned to Vermont on 14 August. The mother and children remained in Newfoundland. An attempted reconciliation in early October whereby the mother and children would return to the matrimonial home in Vermont fell apart. He applied for the return of the children on 6 October 2010.