Can I travel with my child after I separate or divorce?

5. Get help if your partner doesn’t agree

If your partner won’t give you permission to travel with your child, check your or to see if it says what you should do if there is an issue you don’t agree on. For example, it might say that you have to try or to work out your issues before going to court.

In family law you must think about using (ADR) or a family dispute resolution process to resolve your issues out of court if it’s suitable for you. ADR might not be right for you if:

  • one person is afraid of another person because there is a history of family violence
  • there are serious mental health or drug abuse issues

Going to court can be a complicated process and it can take a lot of time. It can be stressful and expensive, but it is sometimes necessary to decide your issues.

Family law professionals

A family law professional may be able to help you resolve your issues out of court. They are people who are trained to help you reach an agreement or make a decision for you by using an ADR process.

Deciding which process is best for you depends on the facts of your situation and what you want. For example, a mediator doesn’t make decisions for you, but an arbitrator does.

Go to court

If you have to go to court to get permission to travel with your child, the judge will want to know:

  • why you are travelling
  • where you are going
  • when you will be leaving and returning
  • how you are travelling – by plane, car, bus, etc.
  • who is going on the trip
  • where you are staying
  • emergency contact numbers
  • how your partner can get in touch with your child while you are away
  • how missed will be made up if needed
  • proof of a return ticket back to Ontario in your child’s name

You can talk to a lawyer who can help you understand what the law says you have to do to be able to travel with your child.

If you can’t afford to hire a lawyer for your whole case, some lawyers provide “unbundled” or “limited scope” services. This means you pay them to help you with part of your case.

If you can’t afford to hire a lawyer at all, you may be able to find legal help in other places.

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