USA – IL – PALLE – 1990



Circuit Court, Cook County, Illinois; No. 90 D 1181, 23 Feb 1990
Text is from: 16 Fam. Law Rep. 1262 (1990)

Two minor children whose mother removed them to Illinois from
Austria, their country of habitual residence, without the consent
of their father must be returned to Austria pursuant to the Hague
Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction
(FLR Ref. File 122:001), an Illinois trial court recently ruled.
Upon arriving in Chicago with the children in February 1989, the
mother had immediately filed a divorce and custody petition in
the Cook County Circuit Court. Ten months later the father filed
an action in the same court under the Hague Convention, seeking
the children’s return to Austria. After a full hearing,
including an in camera interview the older of the two children,
the court held that the father had proved by a preponderance of
the evidence, in accord with 42 USC 11603(e)(1) (FLR Ref. File
120:006), that the children had been wrongfully removed and
retained by the mother within the meaning of the convention. The
court also found, pursuant to Sec. 11603(e)(2), that the mother
had failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that there
was a grave risk of physical or psychological harm or an
impending or intolerable situation if the children are returned
to the father. Accordingly, the court found that the convention
mandated the children’s return to Austria. (Interestingly, the
court also directed that if the Austrian court in which the
father’s custody proceeding is pending does not enter a order by
August 1990, that the father is to return the children to the
mother. The enforceability of such a proviso, however, appears
to be dubious.)