It is, unfortunately, more and more common for a parent to be the one to abduct their child from the other parent.
Once separated, or even prior to separation if you foresee that one is imminent, it is important for you to follow these steps, in order to prevent any type of “abduction” or to avoid being falsely accused of abduction, if you have a child together.
In fact, being proactive comes with being a parent. Consequently, this means that it is paramount for a parent to take the following precautionary steps to be legally protected against his or her biggest nightmare:
1) Do not wait any longer: obtain an emergency custody judgment from the Court. This will help determine who can spend time with, how time can be spent with, your child, and also where your child may travel. Should you fail to go through this step, not only are you playing with fire, but you are making it much more difficult for police forces to consider your child’s removal to be an actual abduction. In other words, this means that the matter is taken much less seriously than what you may consider it to be.
2) Should you foresee taking your child on a trip, do not forget to protect yourself from potential false accusations of abduction: always obtain a signed authorization letter of consent or an affidavit from the other parent, before departing on your trip. The information contained in this document should include the following:
i) the dates of travel with the child;
ii) the dates and times of the flights on the airline company;
iii) the province, city, and country of travel;
iv) the name of hotel/bed & breakfast/Airbnb/resort, etc. where you will be travelling (with address and contact information); and
v) the telephone number where you and your child can be reached during the travel period.
Should the other parent refuse to sign an authorization letter of consent or an affidavit, it is possible to address the Court with this request.
Me Sonia Rotondo, Attorney-at-Law
Alepin Gauthier Avocats inc.