A: If you are a joint guardian with the child’s other biological parent, or someone else, and you have equal rights and responsibilities relating to the child, you should get the other guardian’s consent, to travel with your child.
If you have care of the child most of the time, you probably do not need consent to travel within Canada for a short period as long as it does not affect the other guardian’s time with the child. You will need written consent to travel internationally. Sometimes a divorce or parenting order will have terms about when and how you travel. For example, a parenting order may require that you to give the other guardian 30 days notice and an itinerary of any travel plans out of the province. You should always follow the terms of a court order.
If you and the other guardian cannot agree about travelling with the child and his consent is required, you should take that seriously. Going against the wishes of the other guardian may create tension in your relationship and cause problems down the road. It’s even possible that you will be charged with a crime if the other parent and the police believe you have abducted the child (see below). You should speak to a lawyer to clarify your rights given your specific situation.
If the trip is important and the other guardian is not being reasonable, you can apply to court for an order to allow you to travel without his consent. If there is no order already in place, you would be applying for a parenting order. If there is already an order in place regarding parenting or custody, you would apply to change that order.
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