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Can my ex deny my vacation with my kids?

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Anonymous Asked:

I have 2 children, 18 and 15, and I want to take them to United States for a 10 day vacation. My ex is threatening to call the border and tell them to not allow me over the border with my children. Can he do this? We have joint custody, but he has chosen not to exercise any of his joint rights, until now. He also does not see them more than twice a year. I don't know what to do. I need help. Thank you.

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A Family Lawyer
5 years ago

The typical approach in these types of situations is to seek out express written consent from the non-travelling spouse. Sometimes a court order or separation agreement will indicate and give some guidance as to the non-travelling spouse signing a travel consent form. However, if the travelling spouse will be incurring expense for the trips including flight costs, accomodation charges, etc., then it is better to ensure that there will not be any issues at the border. A consultation with a family law lawyer would be helpful to formulate a plan and approach to address the issues. It may be necessary to bring a motion before a court to seek a court order permitting the travel with the children, and if so granted then the party could always respectfully ask the court to make a costs order in favour of that party in hopes to be reimbursed some of the expenses that were incurred with the lawyer. The ages of the children are obviously a significant factor, as are providing clear details of the planned vacation. The simple reality is that the border may request a copy of the court order and if the parents have joint custody then there may be a need to present a written signed travel consent or court order permitting the travel.

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