2. Decide if you need a court order

What if my partner says they're going to take our child away from me?
This question has an answer and 4 steps

2. Decide if you need a court order

To prevent your partner from taking your child to another city, province, or country, decide if you need to get:

  • a court order that says your partner cannot take the child out of a certain area, such as the province or the country
  • an order that says your partner cannot see your child
  • an order for supervised access
  • your partner to give you, your lawyer, or the court, the child’s passports
  • an order that says the police have to help you enforce your court order
  • in touch with Canadian officials so your partner cannot get a Canadian passport for the child

You should think about how likely your partner it is take your child, and where they might take your child.

Taking your child to another country

It can be very difficult to get your child back if your partner takes your child out of Canada. See the question on What if my partner takes our child to another country without my permission? for next steps that you can take.

If your partner has ties to another country, you should find out if that country has signed the Hague Convention, which is an international agreement. If it has signed it, it means they agree to send children back to their home country to decide custody and access issues.

The status table on the Convention's website lists which countries have signed the agreement.

If the country is on the list, you can get authorities in Canada to help you get your child returned. This is a difficult process but it lets you work with officials in Canada.

If the country is not on the list, it is very difficult to get a child returned to Canada. You have to get an order from that country.

Taking your child to another province

All Canadian provinces and territories have laws that say when a child has to be sent back to Ontario, if that is where they lived before their parent moved them without permission.

It can still be complicated to get your child back even though there are laws to protect your rights.

You usually have to go to court to prove that your child was taken out of Ontario without your permission. Sometimes you have to get an order from a court in Ontario and from a court in the other province or territory.

A lawyer can help you get these orders. You should take steps to get your child back as soon as possible.

Taking your child to another city

Sometimes your partner may be allowed to move to another city. It depends on your custody and access plan, agreement, or court order and if their move would change your child's school, child care, or the time that your child spends with you, your partner, or anyone else with access.

Your partner cannot just take your children to another city and not let you see them. They need a court order or for you to agree before they would be allowed to do this.

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Reviewed: August 31, 2017

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