Contact a lawyer now

Family Lawyer Winnipeg Blog


How to Prevent Child Abduction by Parent?

Parental abduction is a situation where a parent restrains a child who should be with his other parent. It is an offence.

In this situation, the parent to whom the child has not been delivered can file a complaint. However, this is only possible if he and the other parent have legally recognized or adopted the child concerned.

We talk about parental abduction or the non-representation of children in several situations. It is mainly the case when a parent who has access or accommodation rights refuses to bring their child back to their usual residence.

How to Prevent Child Abduction by Parent: Steps to Follow

It is also an offence to refuse to leave your child with the parent who has visiting and accommodation rights. It is the same when one of the ex-spouses moves with his child, without communicating his new contact details within one month.

Finally, abduction in the strict sense of the term is an offence. A parent who abducts his child while he is at school and in the care of his other parent or any other person (for example, to grandparents) constitutes parental abduction.

Prohibit leaving the territory without the double consent of both parents

To limit the risk of international abduction by one of his parents, the spouses can ask the judge to prohibit his departure from the territory.

This prohibition is mentioned in the file of people wanted by the Public Prosecutor for a year. It is, therefore, necessary to renew the request every year.

The measure is very restrictive because it can prevent the child from seeing his foreign family or even merely from going on a school trip abroad.

As a result, this prohibition can only be implemented if one of the parents has severe doubts about the risk of international abduction. Besides, the spouses must justify this measure by providing evidence of a previous attempt by demonstrating the existence of significant risk.

Prevent the husband from leaving with the child

Another less restrictive solution can be envisaged. The parents can indeed provide in the divorce decree. Or even the agreement in the case of an amicable divorce can be provided. The foreign parent must deposit his passport and other identity documents:

  • either with the other parent
  • or another person (lawyer, bailiff, consul, notary …)

Thus, said a parent could not leave the territory with the child.

Parents can also decide to fix a location for the exercise of access rights. In other words, the parent can exercise his right of access and accommodation with the child only at a particular place fixed beforehand by the spouses.

To ensure that the spouse respects, it is possible to ask a third person (close relative, social worker, member of an association, etc.) to provide the surveillance.

Ensure the child’s return

There is one last measure. Make it possible to ensure the return of the child following his trip to the country of origin.

Indeed, it is possible to provide that the child cannot visit this country so that the enforcement of the decision to divorce was not obtained, stating that the child’s habitual residence was granted the other parent.

Establish the procedures for exercising parental authority

In the event of separation, it is essential to define clearly with the other parent the procedures for exercising your parental authority. When you cannot find an agreement, a court decision is necessary to establish the procedures for using parental authority.

The referral to a family judge is, however, recommended in all separations. We advise you to use a lawyer specializing in family law during this procedure.


Maintain communication with the other parent as much as possible and defuse conflicts. Do not object, without reason, to regular contact between the child and the other parent. Without monitoring him, stay alert and ask him about events in his life. It may impact his relationship with your child (change of domicile, telephone number, etc.

Contact information

Keep contact information for family members of the other parent, especially if they live abroad.

Keep the passport (s), the child’s identity card and the family booklet safe. Ensure that no other passport has been made without your knowledge (especially if your child has a Double nationality). Inform the consulate or embassy concerned to papers being drawn up in the name of your child without your consent.

Inform your entourage and the people responsible for the places frequented by the child of your fears and ask them to inform you of any unusual event.

In the event of verbal threats, file a handrail at the nearest police station. If these threats are written, keep a record of them. This will allow you to provide evidence in the event of a lawsuit.

Although we should not be overly alarmed, there has been increased concern about child abductions among families in the country.

Final Words

This sense of risk coincides with cases of children missing in other circumstances in recent years that are extremely worrying for families. But we must bear in mind that the security forces are always working to prevent this type of event. For our part, we must instil in our children specific guidelines for their safety.