An Ontario, Canada, court has ruled that a trans woman must pay the travel costs for her two children to move in with their mother in Washington, US.
Increasingly isolated from her family, the upshot of a legal custody battle has seen Darcy feel she is drifting from her children after her former spouse divorced her in 2017.
Her ex is now remarried to a man who works for Microsoft, the Ottawa Sunreported. Darcy and her family were then plunged into a custody battle that sowed division and fear, she said, as her former partner wished to relocate to Washington as her new husband’s job is there.
In the judgment released last month, justices ruled that Darcy’s youngest children can move some 4,000 kilometres away to stay with their mother, step-father and half-sibling.
“I’m in shock, just shock,” the 37-year-old told the outlet.
“They’re moving my kids to a place I can’t go and the idea that I somehow should pay their costs to take my children away seems kind of unfair.”
Ontario Superior Court justice David Broad considered that while a joint custody agreement would be in the best interests of the children, they need to be allowed to move with their mother.
It’s a decision that has left Darcy reeling, weary of both the rampaging coronavirus keeping country borders shut as well as a US she feels is unwelcoming of trans folk.
“The likelihood of me seeing my kids now is just so low because of COVID,” she explained, finding little respite in the virtual access judges granted her alongside extended long weekends, four weeks in the summer and a week over Christmas vacation.
To her list of woes, she added that as a trans person she “doesn’t feel comfortable” in the US. “I used to travel there for work and I won’t anymore,” she added, worrying that her children would be exposed to transphobia if raised there.
But Broad disagreed. Writing in his judgement: “It was clear from her testimony that the applicant’s concerns respecting these issues are sincere and strongly held.
“However, no expert evidence was led that would suggest that living in the State of Washington, with exposure to the local culture, would adversely affect the children’s development and best interest.”