This was an application brought by the Director-General, Department of Family and Community Services under the provisions of the Hague Convention which involves Australia and America.
The mother was an American citizen. During the marriage the parties with their children resided for periods of time in Australia and for periods of time in the USA. Prior to the mother retaining the children in America when she returned there for medical treatment the children had been residing with the parties in Australia. The mother informed the father that the marriage was at an end and that the children would be residing with her in America.
The father travelled to America and by agreement returned to Australia with the children on the basis that they would be with him for a period of one month. In the proceedings it was the fatherâ€™s version of events which was accepted by the Judge that the children travel to Australia at the request of the mother because she could not cope with the children, work and her mental health-drug abuse issues. The father had expressed hope of a reconciliation of his marriage with the mother of the children.
It was agreed that the matter would be adjourned to enable a family report to be prepared to determine the childrenâ€™s best interests. Interim orders were entered into prior to a final determination for the children to spend supervised time with their mother.