What does ‘habitual residence’ mean?

by | Jan 26, 2022

What does ‘habitual residence’ mean?

Habitual residence is an important concept in national legislation, in the EU Brussels II ter Regulation and in the Hague Child Abduction Convention.

The Child Abduction Convention does not define habitual residence. It is up to the judges in the different countries to interpret this.

The European Court of Justice has given the following interpretation:

A child’s habitual residence corresponds to the place where in fact the center of his life is located. The judge must determine where that center is located by reference to a series of corresponding factors.

It is the place that expresses a certain integration of the child in a social and family environment. To this end, the duration, regularity, circumstances and reasons for the stay in the territory of a State and for the family’s move to that State, the child’s nationality, the place where and the conditions under which the child attends school, language skills and the child’s family and social ties in that State must all be taken into account, among other things.

Read more about habitural residence. Among other things, you can read more about how you can deliver proof of what you believe is the habitural residence of your child in a court procedure.

Read more about International Child Abduction

Read more about child relocation

Visit the country page of you country to read about child relocation and child abduction: Choose a country

Read these blogs about habitual residence:

Habitual residence – UK

Habitual residence in appeal court (Canada)

Habitual residence (Canada)

Habitual residence of baby after 2 relocations (Canada)

The habitual residence of a baby (U.S.)


Visit the U.S. Government website about International Child Abduction

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