I am afraid my former spouse will try to abduct (kidnap) my children, and take them out of the province or maybe even out of the country. What should I do?

If you fear the other parent may abduct your children, you should talk to a lawyer right away about what to do to prevent that from happening.

If you are seeking an agreement or order about parenting arrangements or contact, you can include a term that states the other parent cannot take the children out of a certain area, to another province or outside Canada, without your permission.

The court can order the person who may be planning to remove a child from the province or country to surrender their passport(s) or the child’s passport(s). As well, the court can order the parent to transfer money or property to a third party as security.

If there is a significant risk, the court may restrict the person’s parenting time or contact or order conditions to prevent the child’s removal. If you have an order that restricts who has time with your child, give copies to the principal at your child’s school and to any other adults in your child's life, including teachers, child care providers, coaches, car pool drivers, etc. Make sure they understand the order and who, specifically, is allowed to pick up your child.

More information

For more information, see International Child Abductions. Although primarily about international abductions, these pages contain general information about what you can do if you think your children may be abducted, either within or outside Canada.