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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 02-07-2012, 10:59 AM
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Default Quebec or Ontario for child custody?

Hi,
I am new to this site and thought it might be helpful to get advice.
A little bit of background:
My ex and I were common law and lived together in Quebec, although we are both from Ontario. We have a son who is now 3 1/2. He accepted a job in Ontario in the fall. Our relationship was on the rocks and I decided not to move with him and stay in Quebec until I finish my graduate degree (this year) and then plan to move to Ontario when a job offer comes in (ideally close to my son's dad- but this of course will depend on the job market).
For the short term we have a child custody arrangement – child lives with me and visits his dad every month for 7-10 days (grandmother and other family lives close to dad to be with our son during work hours). We alternate who takes our son to Ontario (each parent paying for his/her own travel costs).


My primary question is about a long term arrangement for custody/visitations.
We have not yet arranged a long term child custody arrangement. Dad would like to have his son on a 50-50 arrangement. Although I would like our son to see his dad frequently and regularly I would like to maintain the status quo and have our son live primarily with me, especially if my career does not take me to the same city that dad lives in. This is my primary concern and something I want to be sure of for the future.

I would like to pursue mediation to come to an amicable and collective agreement that is in the best interest of our son, as well as to reduce legal costs. What I know so far, is that child custody arrangements are “Quebec jurisdiction” (because we were common law, because we lived in Quebec and child still lives primarily and attends daycare in Quebec). Dad is opposed to mediation in Quebec because he thinks it makes more sense to file papers in Ontario given we plan to move there in the near future. I am not sure whether filing in Ontario is even an option.

To my understanding, I think that the labels for custody arrangements are also different in Quebec and Ontario. From what I can tell, a situation in which a child lives with mom and dad on a 70-30 bases but both parents have a say in important parenting issues is called “Joint custody” in Ontario and “Sole custody for mom with dad having 20-40 % visitation rights” in Quebec. Is this correct?

What is the best route to take? Is it possible to have this go through the Ontario system? Is it better for me to pursue a child custody arrangement in Quebec?

Advice would be great!
Thanks in advance
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:22 AM
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Joint custody in Ontario deals with the ability to make major decisions about the child's health, religion and education. It has little to do with the percentage of parenting time each parent receives. You can have a 50/50 situation with one parent having sole custody.

With joint custody both parents would be required to come to a concensus on the major decisions in the child's life.

Sole custody allows the custodial parent to make all decisions on behalf of the child. However, as a matter of practice the NCP should be involved, but they have no say in the final decision.

The province that will have jurisdiction is the province where the child resides. Right now it is Quebec as that is where the child resides. If you move to Ontario, it will be Ontario. You cannot start an application in Ontario if you don't live here.
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:23 AM
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Typically the jurisdiction to file is where the child normally resides. Has your ex lived in Ontario for at least a year? I remember reading something about residency requirements (ie. at least a year) in a province/jurisdiction before being able to file in said province/jurisdiction. If that's the case, you and your ex may not have a choice and will have to file in Quebec. Other more experienced members here will comment and advise.
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Old 02-07-2012, 05:28 PM
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50/50 is the nerw reality - because it is in the best interest of the child(ren) most of the time.

Caution: Your use of percentages (e.g. 70/30) indicates that you perhaps have motives other than "the best interest of [your] son" in mind.

Cheers!

Gary
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