Can I send my child to another province or country before parenting is decided?

4. Go to court

If you think your child should live in another province or country while you and your partner decide on and and your partner disagrees, you will have to go to court and ask for permission. Decision-making responsibility and parenting time used to be called and .

Going to court can be a complicated process and it can take a lot of time. It can be stressful and expensive, but it is sometimes necessary to decide your issues. This family law court process flowchart explains each step in a family law court case.

Judges usually assume it's better for a child to have a relationship with all their parents after they separate or . They make decisions using the family law rules and laws.

Judges look at all the evidence and decide decision-making responsibility and parenting time using a legal test called the .

You have to tell the judge:

  • why you believe it is in your child's best interests to live in another province or country with extended family
  • where you want to send your child and whether the laws of that place recognize and enforce Ontario family court orders
  • a plan of care for your child including:
    • who cares for your child in the other province or country
    • how you will provide for your child
    • how your partner can communicate with your child
    • proof of a return ticket back to Ontario in your child's name
    • how your child's school needs will be met
    • how your child's medical needs will be met

You can talk to a lawyer who can help you understand what the law says about decision-making responsibility and parenting time and help you through the process.

If you can't afford to hire a lawyer for your whole case, some lawyers provide “unbundled” or “limited scope” services. This means you pay them to help you with part of your case.

If you can't afford to hire a lawyer at all, you may be able to find legal help in other places.

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