NZ: Mother and Child May Stay in New Zealand After Fleeing From Father’s Abuse

Couple lived in the Netherlands. Daughter born and raised there.

Father sometimes allegedly violent and Mother unhappy.

Mother’s mother becomes terminally ill.

Mother and daughter return to New Zealand, reportedly with Father’s permission.

Father maintains that it was agreed that Mother and Daughter were to remain in New Zealand only until Mother’s mother passed.

Mother maintains Father knew that the move was permanent.

After a few months, Father followed Mother and Daughter to New Zealand – but reportedly lived separately from them.

After about 6 months, Father was ordered to leave New Zealand as a result of a new domestic violence allegation (eventually dropped).

A trial court in New Zealand found that the Netherlands was Daughter’s habitual residence, and that she must be returned there for a custody determination.

On appeal, the decision was reversed under an exception, under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, where the other parent and child left the former habitual residence to escape domestic violence.

Although the Court did not make such a ruling, arguably the child’s place of habitual residence changed after 6 months anyway.

Read more in this New Zealand Herald article: Court revokes order to send girl back to Netherlands.