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Common Law Issues The law regarding common law relationships is different than in cases of divorce. Discuss the issues that affect unmarried couples here.

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Old 11-04-2005, 03:46 PM
midnight4519 midnight4519 is offline
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Default what if ur common law married

hi there
i am a now single mother of one and would like some information on the rights of common law. my ex decided to leave me and my son. and had started living with a girl with kids but had lost 3 of them to her ex. my ex tells me each day that he is going to take son, does he have the right to do that? and also being first nations do i have a right to take my son back home to another territory. and to change his name without the signature since i am not married to him?
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Old 11-04-2005, 07:02 PM
logicalvelocity logicalvelocity is offline
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Midnight4519,

The parental rights of common law vs.married is the same in Ontario.

Both mother and father are equally entitled to custody of the child;

The sole determining factor for custody of a child would be the best interest of the child.

As far as determining access, this is also based on the best interest of the child and courts generally try to maximize access on this criteria unless the child is in harm emotionallly or physically.

It appears what you have now is term called defacto custody. This term means in fact.

As a custodial parent you have no right to dictate the terms of access and also neither does your ex. Common sense has to prevail and if unable to come to resolution, you could bring the matter to court.

Access and contact is the sole right of the child. It is the child's right to the relationship with each parent.

As far as moving away with the child, first nations or not does not really matter. This is an entire issue on its own and can swing either way. Moving to another area may be in your best interest but may not be in your child's best interest. The main reason for moving would be a deciding factor. The courts cannot really stop your from moving, your right to do this is protected by the canadian charter of rights and freedoms. However the courts can prevent the child from moving if it is determined that the move is not in his best interest.

In Ontario, I believe the name of the child is what is on the birth registration. To apply for a name change, I believe you have to have sole legal custody and also they generally hypenate the childs surname to include both mother and father.
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