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I am separated from my husband for 2 years. Me and my two…

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I am separated from my...
I am separated from my husband for 2 years. Me and my two children live in Toronto. The father lives in Georgia where we used to live. We do not have a formal separation agreement and he is in arrears of child support by 20 months. I have not yet filed support papers although they are done and I just need to do the paperwork to finalize. My question is - am I at risk in travelling to Georgia with the children this summer without an agreement? I was planning on them staying with him for 10 days but I am nervous 1) because he might convince them to stay and 2) because they might want to stay. What are my rights and is it too risky to cross the boarder without an agreement in case he fulls something. I do not trust him.
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Canada Law
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
6/19/2010
Lawyer: Debra, Lawyer replied 8 years ago
Debra
Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 106,098
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debra thal :

How old are your kids?


 

Customer:

one is 12 and the other 15

debra thal :

If they want to stay with their dad afterwards how would an agreement help you? At their ages don't you think they will say they don't care about an agreement?

Customer:

I am not sure which is why I was asking so basically if they want to stay, they can even though I have had full custody for 2 years? He has only been visiting them 3-4 times a year while we have been in Toronto

debra thal :

In Ontario you can get an order for custody for sure. But, there comes a point where you cannot enforce it against the kids. By 16 in Ontario there is no legal way to enforce a Court Order against a child.

But, in any event, if a 15 year old refuses to leave his/her father what can you do practically?

An agreement will not really help you. If the father refused to allow the kids to go back you would need a Court Order not an agreement. Having an agreement would help you get the Order.

But, at 15 for sure, and even likely at 12, if the father took you to Court for custody the wishes of the kids would be given considerable weight.

In the end, agreement or not, the Court would review all the factors and make it's decision based on what it determines to be in the best interests of the kids and the status quo, the father's lack of involvment in the kids' lives, their wishes etc would all be considered.

Customer:

So it sounds like, I am better off staying in Ontario and having him visit them here. since they would not be able to cross the boarder with him as I would not allow it and I have their passports. It sounds like I am at risk travelling to Georgia with them since I would not be able to force the back home if they or if he convinced them to stay and I would need a court order to return them to me?

debra thal :

Have you seen a family lawyer yet?


It sounds like this is a lot to think about on your own.

Customer:

Are you still there?

Customer:

I have not seen a family lawyer on this issue - only preliminary discussion on getting child support and a separation agreement started.

Debra
Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 106,098
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Lawyer: Debra, Lawyer replied 8 years ago
I am here. I am not sure what happened. When you accepted it ended the chat but even before that it seemed you had disappeared!

We can post up and back rather than chatting now.

It's clearly risky to take the kids to him and leave them with him at this point.

You are correct in thinking it's safer for him to come to see the kids in Toronto.

I would suggest consulting with a family lawyer, face to face, before you do anything more because it would be good for you to be able to discuss this with an expert.
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