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Parenting Issues This forum is for discussing any of the parenting issues involved in your divorce, including parenting of step-children.

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Old 08-15-2012, 07:04 PM
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Default Volunteering in another Country-Dad says no

Hi guys/gals....wondering if I can get your opinion on how to handle...

Our dentist goes every year on a big volunteer trip to a third world country to do dentistry. Multiple dentists and assistants go. She has asked me to go, and said we should take our eldest son (14) as well for the opportunity/experience. This wouldn't be until 2014 but the plans are now. Last year they went to Guatemala.

I mentioned it to his dad, and he said no...he doesn't want his son going to a third world country. Isn't this the same as going on vacation somewhere if he chose to take him to say Mexico, Cuba, Guatemala...I can't see any difference.

1. There is no expense whatsoever to dad (I've told him this already)

2. If it should think it should be reasonable (only 1 week), how do I approach this now so I have no issues when the time comes ? (such as filing a request with courts now ? Not sure if that's possible...how to approach)

Thanks for advice/comments...
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:46 PM
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first off does your son really want to go? What will he be doing while there?? Will there be other kids going?? You are talking a third world country so does he really know what to expect??

I admire your dentist for doing this but doing this type of stuff in a third world country isnt the same as a vacation in a resort.

If I was your ex I would be concerned also. Maybe you can provide him with the arrangements that are being made for safety and protection. Then if this trip conflicts with his access offer him double the time (say he misses one weekend,offer two) to make up to him.
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:03 PM
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I know of Dentists who do this annually and it might be a wonderful experience for you and your son. I would present it as a unique education experience and provide your ex with information on the program. Usually if the Dentist goes to and "emerging economy" such as Cuba they actually do stay in resorts as it is the cheapest place to stay and eat. Other countries have visiting academic/dentists stay on university campuses.

You probably jumped the gun a bit and should have just said you were taking your son on an out-of-country vacation. What you do when you are there is really none of his business don't you think?
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Old 08-17-2012, 03:35 PM
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BUT now that the cat is out of the bag, if your ex witholds consent you need a court order. Start now.

File a motion, lay it out like has been mentioned, a unique educational opportunity to see a developing nation and do some warm fuzzy work to boot.

Once you have a court order dispensing with Dad's consent, you can leverage that to get the passports and it will take the place of a consent to travel letter. (which you would otherwise need to remove the child from the country)
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:52 PM
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File a motion...but be sure to provide as much information as possible. For example, what country you would be going to and where you will be staying. Also check if the country is a member of the Hague convention. If not, you may want to wait until the country that you are visiting is one that respects international law.
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Old 08-21-2012, 10:16 PM
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Pharah - excellent advice. Friend's sister (Northern Irish citizen) married a guy from New Zealand. When they broke up she took her two kids to Ireland for fear of continued sexual abuse. He exercised his rights under the Hague convention and she had to return with her children and hand over their passports.
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:56 AM
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Good Point. Hague convention legally speaking takes the wind out of the "she's going to flee with them" argument.

Even if it's not a member, you can still point out you have no ties to the country, that your home/job/family/etc is all HERE in Canada, and the ex is a damn nutball to suggest otherwise.
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