I am afraid that my ex partner will abscond with my children (out of Ontario) and I will never see them again. What can I do?
If you are afraid that your ex partner will abscond with your child(ren), then you can apply to the court for a “non-removal order”. This is an order that will prohibit the child(ren) from being removed from the province or any particular jurisdiction within Ontario without your consent or a court order. If the court makes such an order, you should immediately take it to the customs and immigration officials nearest you (perhaps at your airport).
If there is urgency (ie. your ex partner is threatening to abscond with the child(ren) and you do not have time to consult with a lawyer) then you should immediately attend any family law court in the jurisdiction where the child(ren) reside(s) and speak with duty counsel. Duty counsel will help you to obtain a temporary non-removal order which will remain in place long enough for you to consult with a lawyer.
What will the court consider in making a non-removal order?
In determining whether or not to make a non-removal order, the court will want to know if there have been any threats to abscond with the child(ren) outside of the jurisdiction or if there has been any history of this occurring. The court will also want to know if your ex-spouse has any connection to a foreign jurisdiction (ie. family that lives in a foreign jurisdiction, assets in a foreign jurisdiction, a job in the foreign jurisdiction, etc.). The court will also examine your ex-spouse’s connection to Ontario (ie. how long has he/she lived here? Does he/she have a job in Ontario? Does he/she have family in Ontario, etc.)