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Custody and relocation away from Quebec


After a break up, a parent may want to get closer to his or her country or province of origin in order to rebuild a new life. But what about the child and the parent remaining in Quebec? Obviously, shared custody is not possible. This discussion will briefly review the factors that a Court will consider when one parent wants to move with a child, or children, and the other parent disagrees.

The Quebec Court of Appeal has held1 that relocation cases must be examined by evaluating the best interests of the child and the good faith of the parent who wants to move.

In assessing the best interests of the child, there are several criteria that must be considered. They include, the existing custody relationship and the relationship between the child and the parent who has custody; the desirability of maximizing contact between the child and both parents; the views of the child; if relevant to the relocating parent’s ability to meet the needs of the child, the reason for the move; and the benefits versus the disruption caused to the child by the move.

In assessing the good faith of the parent, the Court must be convinced that the reasons to leave are rational and are not just a whim or a pretext to keep the child away from the non-custodial parent and that the custodial parent will take the required measures to promote the access rights of the non-custodial parent.

Relocation cases are some of the most difficult child custody cases for judges to rule on. Because of the clash between the importance of mobility and the personal and family aspirations of a custodial parent versus the potential drastic effects on the non-custodial parent, the analysis must focus on best interest of the child and the motives of the parent asking for the authorization to relocate with the child.

For advice as to how to safeguard your rights in your specific situation contact us: (514) 534-0145 (ext 224).

This article is not intended to provide legal advice or opinion as neither can be given without reference to specific events and situations.

1 Droit de la famille 172102, 2017 QCCA 1376.