Families Change Guide to Separation & Divorce

5.10 - Other Safety Issues

5.10 - Other Safety Issues

Other than physical safety of you and your child, there are other safety issues which may be a factor.

The other parent’s mental illness may be a factor in the conflict during and after the separation. You may have concerns about the other parent’s ability to look after the children if there is a crisis in his or her mental illness. For example, you may worry that he or she may not be able to manage the children’s safety and security. In many communities, there are support groups for family members of mentally ill people. It can be extremely helpful to share your concerns with others and to get more information about the illness.

You may be doing everything you can to be the best parent possible, but the other parent’s problems with drugs or alcohol may be putting the children at risk. If this happens, remember that you are not responsible for the other parent’s behavior. Your job is to take whatever action possible to make sure the children are safe. If you have grounds to believe that the other parent is engaging in inappropriate or unsafe behavior, you can call the police or apply for a protection order.

If you suspect the other parent is abusing a child in any way, you can take the child to see a doctor or counselor. You should do this for the well-being and safety of the child.

If you are afraid your child will be abducted, you need legal advice and assistance. If you can show reasonable grounds that the child may be abducted, a judge can make an order that the other parent cannot remove the child from the city or town without your written permission or a court order.

The court can also ask for the other parent’s passport so they cannot leave the country with the child. The court may also order that there be no visits or that visits be supervised.