Police in Canada Are On The Lookout
Canadian border police warn they are on the lookout for parental abductions. Statistics show that the rate of parental abductions increases greatly around holiday times.
The most common reason why this happens is that one of the parents wants to visit their home country with the child. The other parent is often afraid that if the children leave the country, they will never be returned. Given that the parent who wants to leave the country wants the child to see their grandparents, they take the child away without permission. Therefore, speak to a family lawyer before making any decisions.
Parental Abductions- Amber Alerts
This sort of action leads to the many Amber Alerts that are issued. Family law and Amber Alerts are often related.
Groups like Canada Border Services Agency (border police) and the Missing Children’s Network are working hard to resolve the problem. Further, the founder of the Missing Children’s Network said that many parents decide to go with their child back to their home country without the other parent’s permission. She said it was the most common type of abduction in Canada.
Get A Professional Letter of Consent Created
If you are planning to travel with your children, make sure to get a family lawyer to create a letter of consent. The lawyer should also make sure all your legal documents are in order. That way you can show the documents to the border police, and they should let you through without issue.
If you are concerned about your ex-spouse taking your child back to their country, a family lawyer can also help you with this. The lawyer might be able to get a court order or warn border police. This needs to be done with care so you do not get sued for defamation. Everything that is told to the police should be the truth. If you lie or exaggerate and your ex-spouse incurs losses, they might have a valid defamation case.
Make Sure You Have Your Lawyer Get Signed Permission
The border police have warned people crossing the border or leaving the country. It doesn’t matter if you travel by car, ferry, or plane, you need to have your legal documents with you. If you have shared custody, you should have a letter of consent from your ex-spouse.
Therefore, if both parents are not there, bring your legal documents. Make sure they are done properly. If the documents are not professionally done, look fake, or are missing, it can make crossing the border very hard.
It is likely that border officials will hold you and your children in the waiting area until they can speak to your spouse. Depending on the availability of your spouse, this could potentially take many hours.
If your spouse gets a phone call from the police about their children, they might overreact. Further, you don’t want your spouse saying bad things about you to the border service. At best, they might turn you around. At worst, they might take you into police custody until they can figure out what is going on.
Do Research About Parental Abductions
A lady named Kristen Allen was waiting at a Canadian airport waiting for her daughter to arrive back in the country. Her ex-spouse had taken the daughter outside the country. Further, she allowed it but had many doubts about if she should have. Also, Ms. Allen had custody of the daughter and was okay with the daughter leaving the country under a few conditions.
- That Ms. Allen receive plenty of notice ahead of time
- That the ex-spouse would provide a detailed plan
The Signed Letter Of Consent
The letter of consent was signed, and the child left for Europe. The ex said that if she didn’t share custody with him, that he would not return the daughter to her.
It has been years and the daughter has not returned to Canada. Ms. Allen might not see her daughter for many more years to come.
Do not expect that your local police will be able to return your child to Canada for you. Canadian police have very limited resources overseas. Further, in some countries like China, once the child is returned there, Canadian authorities have absolutely no power.
Therefore, make sure you always run everything past a family lawyer.
Author: Alistair Vigier is the CEO of ClearWay Law