International abduction warning signs

This webinar looks at the issue of international abduction of children in the context of family violence, with a focus on steps a woman can take to pre-empt an international abduction as well as what she can do if her children are abducted.

This is the latest in a series of webinars on family law issues when there’s family violence presented by Luke’s Place in partnership with CLEO, with support from The Law Foundation of Ontario.

Definitions of terms used in the webinar

International abduction

  • Any removal of a child from the child’s habitual residence to another country that is not legally authorized or permitted. This can include removals whether or not there is a custody order in place.

Habitual residence

  • The jurisdiction where the child or children lived with their parent(s) before the removal. This is larger than, say, a particular address, and generally means a city or province. Determining where a child has been habitually resident can be a complex legal issue, especially as more and more families move around the globe on a regular basis.

Custody and access

  • Although the federal Divorce Act and some provincial and territorial legislation no longer use the terms custody and access, having replaced them with language like parenting orders, parenting time and decision-making responsibility, for this webinar we will be using the term custody to refer to the parent with whom the child primarily resides and who has principal decision-making responsibility and the term access to refer to the parent who has legal authority to spend time with the child

Rights of custody

  • This term describes the rights a parent may have to custody of a child, whether or not there is a formal custody or parenting order in place. For example, immediately after separation, both parents have rights of custody, even though no order is yet in place.

Actual exercise of custodial rights

  • In order to exercise custodial rights, the parent must have some, even if minimal, involvement with the child, such as telephone/Skype contact and/or visits.