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Parental Abduction of Kids

A bitter custody dispute occasionally results in one of the parents to seek a more ‘hospitable’ jurisdiction to argue custody in. In rare cases, parents often abduct the child to a jurisdiction where they will not be found, or to a jurisdiction where the abducting parent will have an advantage in any court proceeding.

For example, an Iranian parent may take the child and scoot back to Iran while a Mexican parent may race back to Mexico with the child. Most jurisdictions make some attempt to stop ‘jurisdiction shopping’.

Accordingly, the provisions of the Divorce Act allows a court to transfer divorce proceeding from one Province to another if it would allow a court to better act in the best interests of the child. The Provinces have provisions aimed at allowing reciprocal enforcement of custody orders between Provinces, to minimize attempts by parents to re-try these cases until they obtain a favourable result. The Hague Convention is a legislative web between consenting countries or jurisdictions to address these situations.