Children’s habitual residence: Balev v. Baggott, 2016 ONSC 55

In April 2013, the parties separated and agreed that the Appellant mother would take the children to Ontario where the children would attend school. The Respondent father executed a consent letter whereby the children would have to return to Germany by August 15, 2014. The Respondent’s letter further granted the Appellant “temporary” physical custody of the children until that date. The children and the Applicant traveled to Ontario on April 19, 2013.
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Hague Convention, Habitual Residence and Parens Patriae

The parties married in an Islamic wedding ceremony in England, subsequently married legally in Ontario, and have a young son together. In the two years after the child’s birth, the family traveled extensively, splitting their living arrangements for a few months at a time between Pakistan, Ontario, and England. They lived in Ontario for less than a year then went to stay in Pakistan where the father intended to build a business. The family planned to eventually return to live in Ontario. While in Pakistan, the mother took the son to stay with her parents. Once the father learned that she had taken him to England, he reported the abduction, returned to Ontario, and commenced an application to have the child returned to Ontario. The mother began proceedings in England and received an ex parte order preventing the child’s removal from the U.K.
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