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Monday, June 13, 2016

In re R.C.G.J., 2016 WL 3198285 (N.D. Florida, 2016) [Honduras] [Habitual Residence][Petition granted]

In re R.C.G.J., 2016 WL 3198285 (N.D. Florida, 2016) the Court found that the 5 year old child was born to parents who were living together in Hondouras and had the shared intent to remain there, which the mother changed. Two considerations made the case atypical. First, with the approval of both parents, the child lived most of his life in the United States and he was acclimated here. Second, both parents intended all along that the child will live with the mother, although the father has insisted on his right to control the child, but never wished to have separate physical custody. The actual expectation of the parents was that the child would  live with the mother in the United States at least until 2017 and probably through high-school graduation in 2029. The father acquiesced in the mother and child living in the United States.  The parents shared a settled mutual intent that the stay last indefinitely. Although the mother signed an agreement in 2013 designating the child’s habitual residence as Honduras and agreed in April 2015 to entry of an order confirming that provision, what the parties said about habitual residence was different from what they agreed to do about it. They agreed that the mother and child would move to the United States and remain until 2016—a date later extended to 2017—and the parties included a provision for extending the period of residence in the United States indefinitely. The parties contemplated that the child would remain in the mother’s physical custody and would stay in the United States for an extended period—probably through high school. There was no reason to believe the child would ever actually move back to Honduras. In sum, the child’s habitual residence, as of July 11, 2015, when he was retained in the United States, was the United States.