Actress Scarlett Johansson filed for divorce in March 2017 after separating from her husband in the summer of 2016. The couple share a young daughter. Johansson sought sole custody in the divorce, but Dauriac was not keen on the arrangement. Complicating the issue was Dauriac’s desire to move back to his country of origin, France, with the child.
What happens when one parent wants to move out of the country after separation? In Ontario, courts will make all decisions regarding custody and access with the best interests of the child in mind. Given the presumption that maximum contact with each parent is in the best interest of the child, a court can tell you that you are not allowed to move away with the child without the other parent’s permission. Judges can also arrange the access order to facilitate lengthier visits with the access parent (summer vacation for example).
Leaving the country with your child contrary to a court order or separation agreement is child abduction, a serious offense. The 1980 Hague Convention on International Child Abduction is a treaty formed to protect children from abduction across international borders by arranging for their swift return to their home or country of habitual residence. Currently, more than 90 nations are party to this treaty, including France.