Abduction of a child by a parent

As the holders of parental authority, both you and your former spouse have custody of your child, even after you separate. As a result, you can file a complaint for abduction if, without your agreement, your former spouse:

  • claims sole custody of your child, despite a decision made by a court about custody or if no decision exists;
  • attempts to deprive you of your custody rights or access rights.

The abduction may be:

  • local;
  • provincial;
  • interprovincial; or
  • international.

The steps you will have to take depend on the type of child abduction.

Local or provincial abduction

Your former spouse is guilty of a local or provincial abduction if, without your consent, he or she retains your child within Québec, for example in another city or region. In addition, he or she may be guilty of a failure to comply with a court judgment on custody.

In this case, you must file a complaint with the police (in French). 

You should also consult a lawyer.

Interprovincial abduction

Your former spouse is guilty of an interprovincial abduction if, without your consent, he or she retains your child in another province or territory in Canada. In addition, he or she may be guilty of a failure to comply with a court judgment on custody. Your former spouse may also attempt to obtain custody in the province or territory concerned.

In this case, you must file a complaint with the police (in French). You should also consult a lawyer.

You have a range of legal options to obtain custody of your children, which differ depending on whether or not you already have a custody order.

International abduction

Your former spouse is guilty of an international abduction if, without your consent, he or she retains your child outside Canada. In addition, he or she may be guilty of a failure to comply with a court judgment on custody. Your former spouse may also attempt to obtain custody in the country concerned.

In this case, you must file a complaint with the police (in French). 

You may also request the assistance of the Central Authority for Québec under certain conditions. If for some reason we cannot act, other organizations may be able to provide assistance.

You should also consult a lawyer.

 

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