Westside Family Law

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Family law: traveling after divorce with a dependent child

Child support and child custody are among the most potentially contentious parts of a divorce wherein the couple has dependent children. Here in British Columbia, family law dictates specific rules and guidelines designed to help both parents and their children acclimatise to their new lives while protecting children from potential abuses. In many situations, this requires communication between former spouses, particularly in cases where one parent wishes to travel with the children. 

Generally speaking, this pertains to cross-border travel. While some custody agreements require that one parent notify the other before taking a trip of any sort with the children, at the border it is actually a legal issue. Depending on the destination country, parents may need to present proof of consent from the other parent that the trip has been sanctioned and is not at odds with their custody agreement. In some cases, agreements like this place sanctions on travel and require the other parent to be made fully aware of all travel plans in advance. 

This is also true of moving homes. It is generally accepted that a parent is allowed to move homes as long as the move does not hinder the other parent's agreed-upon access to the children. Where a move would influence the other parent's access, it may be necessary to maintain a court order to alter the specifics of the child custody agreement. 

Family law can be very complicated as it pertains to child custody. However, British Columbia residents would agree that the primary motivation for most parents is the well-being of their children above all else. This is why seeking out the support of an experienced divorce attorney when creating a child custody agreement can be so helpful -- it allows both spouses to clearly define their wishes for their children in advance of the finalization of the divorce.

Source: mondaq.com, "Traveling With A Child After Divorce Or Separation", Jan. 25, 2017

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