Martin Stern v. Michelle Stern, No. 10-2493 (8th Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Appellant petitioned for his son's transfer to Israel for custody adjudication alleging that his son had been wrongfully detained in Iowa by the child's mother. At issue was whether the district court erred in finding that the parties' intention was to make Iowa the habitual residence where the district court emphasized the son's perspective that the settled purpose of his relocation to Iowa was to reside there habitually. The court held that the district court did not err in finding that the parties' intent at the time of the move was to make Iowa the son's habitual residence whether the district court emphasized the son's perspective or the parents' perspectives; that the parties maintained no home in Israel after coming to Iowa and appellant spent two months closing down his business before rejoining his family in the United States; that it appeared that the family did intend to "abandon" Israel; and any agreement of the pair to return to Israel would have involved staying in the United States for the indefinite amount of time it would take the mother to finish her doctorate.