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Old 12-14-2009, 10:42 AM
Simplicity Simplicity is offline
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There are 2 issues here:

#1 The child's father's access to his child and ability to take a vacation without legal problems.

#2 Who pays what for daycare during child/parent vacation time.

#2 is simple. The father can pay what he thinks he rightfully owes on time, and leave any confusion up to the mother to sort out in court.

About #1 - the father and yourself taking the child on a vacation. It seems that the major obstacle is the child's mother refusing to sign a 'consent' letter in the absence of the father providing extra daycare money.

I have quite a lot of experience in related matters. My son is now 12. The relationship broke up when he was 11 months old. I am originally from Europe, and maintain close ties and contact with my (large) family and with friends in many European countries.

During the years after the breakup my child's father was adamant that our child would never go to see my family and friends in Europe. When our son's passport expired he refused for over a year to sign for a new one (this during a time period when my father got sick and died, and when I was concerned about my mother's health and the fact that I might want to visit her with our child). Let me know if you want to know how I got over that hurdle.

When my son was 3 there was major ice/snow damage to our house. There was going to be a construction worker with all necessary power tools, etc in our house almost daily for about 3 weeks. Given our child's inquisitive fingers and the fact that I was on a medical/disability leave from work, and the fact that our son was in daycare (as opposed to school) at the time I decided that it would be a good idea for us to leave the then -30 degree January weather and the potentially dangerous (power and other tools) home and go south for 3 weeks approximately during the construction period (the construction being necessary to the child's bedroom).

I wrote a letter to the father explaining the situation. I offered to make up his weekend time on the weekends of his choice. I offered him extra make up time. I offered to provide him with phone cards so he could call the child while our child was on vacation. I offered that he could have (my) Mothers' Day with the child so he could take our child to visit his paternal grandmother. I offered him other bonuses also.

His response was to scream that if I attempted to take our child on vacation he would call the police and scream that I was abducting the child (this was not the first time he pulled the abduction card. Disproving it previously had cost me a lot in a lawyer's fees).

I decided that if he was threatening to call the police when I was doing something reasonable then it made sense for me to call the police first and to get their opinion on the situation.

I called the spousal assault section of our local police. It only took a few minutes for the matter to be fixed. I explained the situation, I described the content of my letter and the offers that I had made.

The (spousal assault) police officer that I spoke with recommended that I re-send the letter with an additional paragraph stating that I had spoken with the police and that they had no problem with my going on vacation with the child in the circumstances. The police officer also asked me for the father's name, address, date of birth.... he told me that if the father called screaming abduction that they would have a file on him and would know that it was not true. He wished myself and the child a happy vacation.

We had a great vacation!

On a more general note I have travelled internationally with my child at least once a year for the past 12 years (destinations including England, Poland, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Cuba, the Netherlands, etc). Never once have I been asked by Canadian or foreign immigration authorities to provide a letter of 'consent' from the non-custodial parent.

I do usually produce my legal/custody documents which state that in late August/early September I and my son will travel to Europe for family and (my) work reasons.

On one occasion when my son was about 9 years old instead of having the legal/custody documents on me personally they somehow got packed/lost in our suitcases. In the absence of the documents we were pulled aside by the immigration people on our return to Canada. They basically took my son away from me (not far, just a few feet and in a space where he could not make eye contact with me). The immigration people thoroughly questioned my son about his family name and why it is different to mine, about his father and where his father lives and works, about his school, about where he lives and with whom.

The immigration people basically checked that everything was as it should be absent the proper legal papers. It is good to know that they are paying attention in matters such as this.

Enough of my story (or one of many).

My suggestions for you are as follows:

The father should contact the spousal assault section of your local police service and inform them of your travel plans and the mother's lack of cooperation in providing a letter of consent (plus the daycare cost issue).

Ask the police how they can facilitate you in going on vacation as planned if the consent letter is not forthcoming (and provide them evidence as necessary that you live where you do, have work, family and other ties that ensure your return).

Be sure to inform the police that there is not sufficient time for court proceeding on this matter.

Make sure to contact the relevant section of the police (where I live it is spousal assault department of the police). If you call a general police number or speak with an ordinary' police officer they make not have the family law knowledge and expertise that you need.

Ask the police how to communicate your vacation plans to the mother (e.g. they might say to write/inform her that the police/authorities are aware of your travel plans and are willing to accept them without a consent letter from the mother).

Good luck in sorting this out without going to court or losing your vacation with the child!

Last edited by Simplicity; 12-14-2009 at 11:13 AM. Reason: typo