Where parents' alleged intentions about moving from one 'Hague Convention' country to another with their young children differ how will a court dealing with child abduction proceedings decide which of the two countries involved is really the minors' habitual residence ?
The court will look at both parents' alleged intentions and try to find the maximum common ground, to establish the shared parental intention . It will also look at the plain geographical facts, from the minors' point of view. For example, in the mid-90's Feder U.S. appeal court case, it was held that although the parents moved from United States to Australia for different reasons – the father's being employment related, and the mother's to give their marriage a last chance – this did not matter, as there was a joint decision to relocate, and, from the evidence given, the child had established habitual residence in the new country after six months.
In another case where a return order was granted after a short period of habitual residence , this time to Germany, in Re F, the U.K. court hearing the case in 2003 reconciled the differing parental claims about the time they intended to spend there with their child, and held that they both consented to living there for six months. According to the mother, she had agreed to live in Germany with their child for a maximum of six months, while according to the father, this was the minimum period. Although the family actually lived there for less than the compromise period of six months, habitual residence was still established, on the facts.