There are times during separation and divorce proceedings, as well as afterwards, where one parent might ignore court-ordered custody and access agreements, and decide to take matters into their own hands. These situations typically result when one parent feels slighted, upset, or angry at the other and the actual amount of time they are getting with their children. They might decide they are not returning the children at the end of their visitation period or could decide to abduct the children and take them out of Ontario or even out of the country.
Inter jurisdictional custody child abductions can be scary and extremely stressful for the parent, who wants their children to return. There are specific procedures you should follow in order to help resolve the matter, as quickly as possible. Most importantly, avoid attempting to resolve the issue on your own, without involving your Toronto family lawyer, the police, and the courts, as the other parent could potentially be facing criminal charges, as well as other penalties for violating the access and custody agreements.
The first thing you should do is contact the police, as soon as you suspect the other parent has abducted the children and is not going to return them. The police will attempt to intervene and return the children, if they are still within their jurisdiction, as well as work with other policy agencies outside their jurisdiction, within Ontario.
The next thing you need to do is call your family law lawyer and inform them what is happening. Your lawyer can initiate legal proceedings with the court and take steps to get access and custody agreements modified since the other parent failed to adhere to them.
If the other parent has taken the children outside of the province, but they are still within Canada, you are able to have custody and access agreements enforced by other family courts. However, it could be necessary to file with the family court in the jurisdiction where the children are being held, in order to have the local court and law enforcement agencies enforce it and return the children to Toronto.
Outside of Canada
When the children have been abducted and taken out of the country, the processes to get the children returned is more complex. At this point, it is best to contact your Toronto divorce law firm for assistance and information on exactly what you need to do to initiate legal processes in the country where the children were taken.
DISCLAIMER: Please keep in mind the above information is provided for reference purposes only and should not be used as actual legal advice. For further assistance and actual legal advice in regards to inter-jurisdictional custody child abductions, or other child access, custody, and support issues, call Kain & Ball Family Law Lawyers at 647-499-4888 immediately.