American Wife and Belgian Husband separate. Wife allows children to travel to Belgium to spend the entire summer of 2006 there with Husband.
Husband keeps children in Belgium beyond date they were supposed to return. Further, Husband, filed for – and won – sole custody of the children in a Belgian court.
This isn’t a case where the Wife was reckless or foolish in handing over the kids for this international jaunt. No, a US Court ordered Wife to send the kids to Belgium to visit Husband for the summer.
The US Court was presumably influenced by the fact that Belgium is a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. But Wife hasn’t seen her kids for two years now – except via webcam, on occasion.
The family did live in Belgium for a time, but it was reportedly agreed to be only on a temporary basis while Husband completed his studies there. Further, when Husband, according to Wife (and her mother), became physically and verbally abusive and threatening toward Wife and the children during a visit to the US in 2004, Wife refused to return with him to Belgium.
Due to the Husband’s defiance of US court orders, the first entered anywhere, the US court refuses to entertain any arguments by the Husband against child custody jurisdiction in the US.
But that doesn’t transport the children back to the US and their mother, Wife.