Abuse Is Wrong In Any Culture: Inuit

What about the children if I decide to leave?

If you leave an abusive situation, you can still apply for custody of your children. Your partner doesn't automatically get to keep your children because you had to leave without them.

If you think your children might be in danger, contact the police and ask them to escort you and your children to a shelter or a location where you will be safe. If you can't take them, tell the police about the danger your children are in.

If you have time before leaving your home, you should also speak with a lawyer about the best way to protect yourself and your children. A lawyer can help you apply to the court for a custody or parenting order.

If you are worried about your children's safety, your lawyer can ask the judge for an order that would allow your spouse to have only supervized visits with the children, or no contact at all. The judge will base their decision on what is best for the children. Keep in mind that it is rare for a judge to order no contact between a child and a parent. Even if visits are not supervized, you can always arrange for someone else to be with you for pick-up and drop-off to avoid problems.

Your safety and the safety of your children come first. Do not stay in a dangerous situation because you are worried about how you will support your children on your own. Shelters can provide you and your children with short-term help while you look for housing and long-term support. Your lawyer can also help you ask the judge to order the other parent to pay financial support for you and your children.

If you have a custody or parenting order, it is a good idea to keep a copy with you in case there is a problem. You can also give a copy to your children's school or daycare.

If you are concerned that the other parent or someone else will try to take the children out of the area, or even out of Canada, tell your lawyer. A judge can make an order that one or both parents not be allowed to remove the children from a specific area (such as a hamlet, province, territory or Canada). The judge can also order that the children's passports be kept by the court. More information on what to do if you are concerned about the children being taken out of Canada (called "international child abductions") can be found on the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada site.

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