If you are concerned the other child’s parent may abduct your child, you should ensure that the custody arrangements in the court order or written agreement are clear. For example, clearly state the start and end dates of access visits. This will assist in establishing relatively quickly that there has been a breach of custody rights. It is also advisable to use the term “custody” in the order or agreement. If you don’t use the term “custody,” you should clarify who has the right to determine where your child will live.
You may also want to go to court and ask the judge to order that the child is not to be removed from Saskatchewan without both parent’s consent or court authorization. Parents may be asked at international borders to show consent from both parents or at least from the custodial parent before being allowed to enter a country with a child. Airlines may also request this consent. However, border officials in many countries do not ask for written consents so the lack of written consent to travel is not a guarantee that the other parent will be prevented from entering another country with the child. For further information, refer to the Government of Canada: Recommended consent letter for children travelling abroad.
Foreign Affairs Canada has produced two publications for parents to assist them in preventing abductions. The pamphlets, International Child Abduction, and Preventing International Child Abduction, are available online at: International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents.
If the child does not have a passport and you suspect the other parent will leave with the child, contact Passport Canada and ask that the child’s name be placed on the Passport System Lookout List. For more information, refer to the Government of Canada: Child safety – extra precautions for passports issued to children under 16 years of age.
If a child already has a passport, ask the court to order the parent to surrender the child’s passport to the court. However, be aware that when a child is a dual citizen it may be more problematic having a foreign passport surrendered to a Canadian court.