Family Law... Travelling with Children

Laura Kanaan – April 2016

Travelling with Children

Are you planning a family vacation? Travelling with your children can be exciting, but it can present unique challenges for separated families. Have you considered how you will deal with child-related travel?

Applying for Passport

Passport Canada requires both parents to consent to the application.  This is typically the case even when one parent has sole custody of the child.

It is possible to draft an Agreement or Court Order allowing one parent to apply for and obtain a child’s passport without the signature of the other parent.  If you anticipate this being an issue, consider working this into your Separation Agreement to avoid future problems.

Travel Letters

Parents travelling alone with children should always have a travel consent letter from the child’s other parent. This is the case whether the parents are separated or not. This letter should be presented when you leave Canada, as well as when you re-enter Canada.  Airlines may also require a travel consent letter for domestic travel.  Check with your air carrier.

It is possible to draft an Agreement or Court Order allowing one parent to travel with the child without obtaining a travel consent letter, however, this is not always appropriate.  You may consider this when entering into your Separation Agreement.

Court Order for Travel

A parent can make a motion for the court to determine whether the child should travel, if the parents can not agree. The Court will consider the reason for travel, details about the destination and the best interests of the children.  Often, the Court will consider granting travel-related orders under a simplified process.

How we can help

If you are planning a trip with your child and require advice about obtaining travel permission in writing or by court motion, do not hesitate to contact us.



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