Parental Abduction of Children
A bitter custody dispute occasionally results in one of the parents seeking to find a more
‘hospitable’ jurisdiction to argue custody in. In rare cases, parents often abduct the child to a
jurisdiction where they will not be found, or to a jurisdiction where the abducting parent will
have an advantage in any court proceeding. For example, an Iranian parent may take the child
and scoot back to Iran while a Mexican parent may race back to Mexico with the child.
Most jurisdictions make some attempt to stop ‘jurisdiction shopping’. Accordingly, the
provisions of the Divorce Act allows a court to transfer divorce proceeding from one Province to
another if it would allow a court to better act in the best interests of the child.
Almost all the Provinces have provisions aimed at allowing reciprocal enforcement of custody
orders between Provinces, to minimize attempts by parents to re-try these cases until they obtain
a favourable result.
The Hague Convention, set out below is a legislative web between consenting countries that tries
to address these situations.
Please note: If you are involved in a matrimonial dispute, we
strongly recommend that you retain a lawyer to represent
you at the first possible opportunity;
This site and this note are designed only to acquaint you with a
few (and only a few) of the issues that may affect you.
It is not intended as legal advice on any specific case.
You are well advised to retain the services of an
experienced lawyer as soon as possible.