The trial court found Poland to be the minor child’s habitual residence. It ordered the child returned. The mother spent three years avoiding court appearances. She had three body attachments issued for her arrest. Then she spent time in jail for her failure to return the child to Poland.

The mother then filed a motion to stay the return of the child. Her theory was that a substantial change of circumstances had occurred. Since the court first found Poland to be the child’s habitual residence. Her reasoning was that the child had attended school in the United States for two years. The child had doctors, friends, and activities in the United States. The child had developed relationships with friends and family in the United States.

The trial court denied the mother’s motion to stay. The appellate court upheld the ruling. The Hague Convention has specific limited defenses and exceptions to the habitual residence finding. A substantial change of circumstances was not one of them.

Furthermore, mother spent three years avoiding and defying the court’s orders to return the child to her country of habitual residence. Mother should not be allowed to argue that circumstances she created by defying the order constitute a basis to modify the order.

In re Marriage of Krol, 2015 IL App (1st) 140976

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