Wolfe v. Wolfe [1993] NZFLR 277

INCADAT legal file Hague parental abduction

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Rights of Custody – Art. 3
The court held that under the interim order when the father had care of the child he had a right to determine where the child should live and a duty to care for the child. On this basis the court found that the father had a right of custody. The court found that the removal of the child was in breach of this right of custody and in breach of the court’s rights.
Acquiescence – Art. 13(1)(a)

Grave Risk – Art. 13(1)(b)
The court rejected arguments of the mother that the father’s alleged sexual practices would place the child at a grave risk of harm. The court held that there was no evidence a return would expose the child to the level of harm contemplated under Article 13(1)(b). In light of the level of distrust between the parents and the mother’s obsession with obstructing contact, the court ordered that the child be handed over to the father for return to the United States.
Consent – Art. 13(1)(a)
The court held that the question of consent turned on the credibility of the evidence of the parents. The trial judge favoured the account of the father and held that all of the mother’s actions were consistent with her fleeing the United States without consent.