Walker v. Walker, No. 11-3602 (7th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Iain and Norene were married in Chicago in 1993. They lived in Seattle until 1998 when they moved to Australia. Their eldest child was born in the U.S. in 1997; two younger children were born in Australia. Although Norene and Iain initially intended to stay in Australia for five years, they stayed 12 years. In 2010, they traveled to the U.S., planning that Norene and the children would remain for six months to one year, but Norene filed for divorce in Illinois. Iain offered Norene primary custody, but wanted to be guaranteed custody of the children for nine weeks of their summer vacation and for two weeks over the Christmas holidays, and asserted that the couple’s residence was Australia. Norene did not accept Iain’s offer of settlement. Iain immediately filed a request for the return of the children with the Australian Central Authority charged with administering the Hague Convention, then filed a petition for return in Illinois (International Child Abduction Remedies Act, 42 U.S.C. 11601), which the district court denied. The Seventh Circuit remanded, stating that further fact-finding was necessary to determine which court should resolve custody.