You may want or need to move to a new community for reasons of safety, to find a job or to live closer to your family.
If your former partner has decision-making responsibilities and/or parenting time with the children, before you move, you must provide him with notice of your intention to move.
If he opposes the move, you will both have to go to court to present evidence to support your positions. You will need to establish that the move is:
- in the best interests of the children, and
- that you are not moving just to interfere with your ex-partner’s time with the children, and
- that you will make extra efforts to support long distance contact between the children and their father.
This could include allowing longer visits during school holidays, paying part of the cost of the children’s travel, paying for long distance phone or video conference calls between the children and your ex-partner and/or agreeing to a reduced level of child support in acknowledgement of his travel costs to exercise access.
Abduction of children from Canada
You may be concerned that your ex-partner may try to remove your children from Canada.
It is difficult to protect against the illegal movement of children, but there are some steps you can take. You can try to get an order that prohibits or places conditions on international travel and that requires either or both of you to surrender your travel documents. You can ask the court to require that the children’s passports be deposited with the court.
You can contact the Canadian passport office to have a passport alert issued, which would create a “red flag” if anyone tried to apply for a passport for the child.
For more information about protecting your children from being illegally removed from Canada, we encourage you to view our webinar on child abduction and visit the federal government’s International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left Behind Parents.