The temperatures outside have dropped to frigid lows and perhaps you are dreaming of a sunny vacation in a southern destination. If you are separated and have not yet travelled alone with your children, you may be wondering about your rights and responsibilities with respect to travel. Below you will find a few tips that will help ensure worry free travels; as always, however, it is important to remember that this is general information and you should seek advice from your lawyer about your particular circumstances.
Plan In Advance
Depending on your relationship with the other parent and the terms of your Separation Agreement or Parenting Plan, you may need to plan your trip some months in advance to ensure proper notice is provided and that there is consent to travel.
Review your Separation Agreement or Parenting Plan
If you have a Separation Agreement or Parenting Plan in place, review it before making any travel plans as it may contain clauses regarding travel and what type of notice and information is required to be provided to the other parent when planning to travel with the children. You will also want to consider the parenting schedule and whether your proposed travel plans would require the other parent to miss out on his/her scheduled days with the children. If so, there may be a provision for making up time in your Agreement.
If you are travelling out of the country, you should have with you a letter from the other parent indicating his/her consent for you to travel with the children to your intended destination. Sample letters can be found on the Government of Canada’s website here.
You should also consider whether there are any travel restrictions or warnings for your planned destination. If there are and you have joint custody, the other parent may not be willing to consent to the children travelling there.
Take the Usual Travel Precautions
As with any trip outside of Canada, you want to ensure that you take the usual travel precautions by ensuring appropriate travel insurance is in place, required vaccinations have been given and contact information about flights, accommodations and contact information have been provided to the other parent.
Hopefully, if you follow these tips, you and your children will enjoy a safe and fun vacation, wherever your destination!