Parenting Plan Tool

Section 7: Travel

Vacations

When one parent plans to travel with the children, especially long-distance, it's important to give the other parent notice so they know

  • where the children are
  • how to contact them while they're away
  • when they're returning

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada also strongly recommends that children travelling abroad carry a consent letter proving they have permission to travel from every person with the legal right to make major decisions on their behalf, if that person is not with them on the trip. You may wish to include a provision in your parenting plan that deals with consent letters.

  1. If Parent A or Parent B plans a vacation with the children, that parent will give the other parent, at least X days before the trip, the flight information, the trip itinerary, the numbers of the passports issued in the children's names, as well as contact information for the children during the trip.
  2. Where Parent A or Parent B plans international travel with the children, that parent will prepare, for the signature of the other parent, a consent letter proving that the children have permission to travel. The other parent will not unreasonably refuse to sign the consent letter.

Passports

When parents are separated or divorced, Passport Canada has very precise rules about which parent's signatures are needed on passport applications. It will look closely at agreements and court orders to make sure that the parent who applies has the legal right to apply and that there are no restrictions on travel. You can help avoid delays in getting a passport for your children if you include a clause that sets out which of you must consent to the passport application. Please note that in the second option below, Passport Canada will only issue a passport to Parent A, if the children live with Parent A the majority of the time.

  1. Parent A and Parent B must both consent for the purposes of a passport application for [insert name of children].
  2. OR

  3. Parent A can apply for the passport of [insert children's names] without the consent of Parent B.

Restrictions on Travel

Sometimes, a parent may be worried about letting the children leave the province or country. This may happen where one parent is worried the other parent may abduct the children. If you are worried that the other parent may abduct your children, it's very important that you speak with a family law lawyer to make sure your draft parenting plan protects your children.

You should note that placing a restriction on your children's travel can affect passport applications. If your parenting plan says that the children cannot be removed from a certain province or territory (Option 1 below), Passport Canada will not issue a passport. You would have to make a new agreement or obtain a court order that allows the children to travel. In cases where you and the other parent decide that the children cannot be removed from a territory without the consent of both parents (Option 2 below), you must both sign the passport application. If you don't, Passport Canada will not issue a passport.

  1. [insert children's names] cannot be removed from the province of X or Canada.
  2. OR

  3. [insert children's names] cannot be removed from the province of X or Canada without the consent of both parents.
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