2. Leave your partner a note

Can I take my child with me when I leave my abusive partner?
This question has an answer and 3 steps

2. Leave your partner a note

In some situations, you can write your partner a note that:

  • tells them what you are doing
  • tells them that you are not abducting the children
  • says that they can see the children, if this is what you want

Make sure to take a copy of the note with you.

If it is safe, tell your partner how to contact you. Or, tell them that you will contact them within a day or two.

If it is not safe, leave a message for your partner once you are in a safe place. Take steps so that they cannot easily find you.

If you have a lawyer, your lawyer can write a letter to your partner. They can then send it to your partner as soon as you leave. This letter should explain the situation and ask your partner to contact your lawyer to discuss custody and access issues.

If you move to a place within your community and you contact your partner as soon as possible after you leave with the children, it is harder for your partner to show that you ignored their equal right to custody by taking the children.

As long as you are not worried about your children's well-being when they are with your partner, it is also a good idea to arrange for your partner to spend time with the children as soon as possible. This also helps to show your partner, and a court if you and your partner go to court, that you were not trying to keep them apart.

If you do not take your children with you

If you decide to leave your partner and you do not take your children with you, your partner might say that you agreed to let the children live with them and for them to have custody.

You should leave a note that says you do not want your partner to have custody. Keep a copy of the note.

If you want custody of or access to your children, or for them to live with you in the future, you should try to stay in close contact with them when you are not living with them.

It is important to take steps to make custody and access plans as soon as possible after you leave. This means either making an agreement or making plans with the help of a family law professional or family court.

Depending on how old and how mature they are, you might want to talk to your children about your plans so that they know that you still love them and are making plans that include them. For example, you might want to tell them about your housing plan and when you think they might be able to come live with you. But be careful not to speak negatively about your partner or involve the children in adult decisions.

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Department of Justice Canada
Reviewed: August 31, 2017

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