Child Abduction Prevention

  1. Vulnerability to an abduction
    • Relationship has broken down
    • Other parent has family or ties to another country
    • Permission is being sought by the other parent to travel to another country
    • Potentially abducting parent may be from a country that requires the father’s permission to enable the children and / or the wife to travel
    • Previous abductions or threats of abduction
    • Lack of financial ties to the present jurisdiction
    • Planning activities consistent with departure from jurisdiction
    • Wealth – ability to live in foreign jurisdiction
    • Poverty – lack of reasons to stay in present jurisdiction
    • Transferable employment skills – skills unaffected by country of residence
    • False but honest belief that child has been abused or neglegted
    • Strong disagreements about custody and visitation
    • High levels of anger and distrust
    • Inability to cooperate over care of children
    • Elevated levels of psychological distress
  2. Familiarize with the laws and customs relating to women and child in the forign country
    • Contact Consular Affairs Ottawa
    • Visit websites such as Reunite: in the UK and the Hague website Child Abduction Section:
    • Consult with experienced Canadian Counsel and Counsel in the foreign jurisdiction
  3. Additional Precautions:
    • Supervised Access – clear and detailed provisions preferably by a respected and competent Agency
    • Prohibition on travel without the consent of both parents or Order of the Court [note obiter in S.C.C. in Thompson versus position taken by U.S.S.C. in Abbot]
    • Custodial Parent has the sole right to determine the child’s residence
    • Surrender of all passport or travel documents in the name of the child and potential abducting parent
    • Reference to Hague Convention if the other country is a signatory
    • Place the child on a Passport Alert or Control List – puruant to a Court Ordered Restriction on travel with the child
    • Police Enforcement Clause:


      A Peace Officer [if under the Divorce Act add “having jurisdiction anywhere in Canada”] shall assist in any way possible, to ensure compliance with this Order. If a party or any other person on their behalf breaches any term of this Order a Peace Officer shall provide assistance to ensure compliance with this Order. Assistance shall include, but not be limited to the return of the child[ren] to the Father / Mother

      If a party does not obey this Order, after being shown a copy of same, a Peace Officer may do such lawful acts as may be necessary to give effect to its terms, including if necessary, arresting, detaining and bringing the party, at the earliest possible time, before a judge of this Court.

    • Custodial Parent has authority to apply for the child’s passport without the other parent’s permission
    • Non-Custodial Parent to notify the custodial parent of any change of address

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