Written on behalf of Shariff & Associates
One of the more difficult aspects of separation and divorce for parents to work through is how holidays are managed when both parents are entitled to parenting time with the child or children. While COVID-19 made it difficult for many people to travel, fewer restrictions have led to an increase in travel for Canadians, for both domestic and international travel. In a recent decision from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the court addressed an issue where one parent did not want the other to travel internationally with their child.
Father wants to travel to Turkey with child
The mother and father met in New York City. The father is a Russian citizen who has business interests around the globe and has significant wealth. The mother was raised in Ottawa and is a Canadian citizen. The parents lived together in various locations around the world and were living in Dubai when they separated in 2020. At that time their daughter was two years old. When the parties separated, the mother left Dubai with their child and relocated to Ottawa.
Mother does not want to travel to Turkey, says father should visit Canada
The mother’s only concern with the father’s proposal is that he is likely to remove the child from Turkey and bring her back to Dubai.
The mother said that she did not abduct the daughter, but instead fled out of fear for her safety. She said the father is a billionaire and has an army of lawyers and experts available to wage a legal battle. She said the father has proven throughout the time after their marriage ended that he will do whatever it takes to punish her for leaving him.
The mother said that she offered the father the opportunity to visit Ottawa and that he is able to take time off to come here to visit the daughter.
Finally, the mother said it would be absurd for the court to allow a child as young as their daughter to leave Canada in the middle of a pandemic, adding that it would be even absurd in light of the father’s means.
Court weighs probability of abduction with need for father to have access
The court acknowledged that the opportunity for the father to remove the child from Turkey without the mother’s permission is a significant risk. However, the court also said that the father has a lot to lose should he abduct their child. He has a high-visibility role as the CEO of a global company. Furthermore, the court stated that Turkey is a signatory of the Hague Convention, and the only way to travel from there to Dubai is by air, which could be prevented if the mother were to think something is amiss.
The court found no evidence that the father is not a law-abiding citizen and stated he has made significant efforts to visit their child.
Because of these reasons, the court ordered that the child can visit her father in Turkey, but for a period of four weeks rather than three months.
Find experienced family law help with Shariff & Associates
The experienced family lawyers at Shariff & Associates work with clients throughout York Region, Durham Region, Vaughan, and Markham on parenting matters of all types. We understand that the topic of parenting time is a significant concern for many of our clients. Our firm’s focus on collaborative family law places an emphasis on maintaining productive and healthy family relationships rather than encouraging conflict. We will review your specific circumstances with you and work to resolve your parenting matter quickly and with as little stress as possible. To arrange a consultation with a member of our team, please reach out to us online, or call us at 905-591-4545.