Mendez v. May, No. 15-1126 (1st Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
Father was a citizen of Argentina. Mother was a U.S. citizen and permanent resident of Argentina. While living in Argentina, the parties had a child. After the parties separated, they reached a child custody agreement providing that the child would reside with Mother and Father would have visitation. In 2013, Mother left Argentina with the child and moved to Massachusetts. The relationship between the parties subsequently deteriorated, and in 2014, Father filed this action pursuant to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Child Abduction, as implemented by the International Child Abduction Remedies Act, to return the child to Argentina. The district court ordered the child’s return on the basis that the child’s habitual residence lay in Argentina because Father never fully agreed to allow the child to move to Massachusetts. The First Circuit reversed, holding (1) the United States was the child’s habitual residence at the time of his removal based on his parents’ mutual and settled agreement to move him there; and (2) Father did not meet his burden to establish a presumption of wrongful removal.