Keep your child safe when there is a custody or access order or agreement

What if I'm worried about my child's safety when they're with my partner?
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Keep your child safe when there is a custody or access order or agreement

If you have a court order or separation agreement that deals with custody or access, you have to do what it says. Or, you have to apply to the court to change the order.

The court uses a legal test called the best interests of the child to make decisions about a child after their parents separate.

In general, the law assumes that it is usually better for a child to have a relationship with each parent after separation and to spend as much time as possible with each parent as would be in the child’s best interests.

When there is a history of partner abuse, you need to tell the court if you have specific concerns about your child’s safety that make it reasonable for you to want to limit their contact with your partner.

There may be steps you can take if:

In some cases, the police might be able to make your partner do what your order says. But the police can only help with some types of orders.

For example, the police might help return your child to your home if your partner refuses to return the child after access. But the police can’t force your partner to phone your home to speak to your child, even if the court order says your partner will call your home for phone access.

Some police will only help if your court order specifically says that the police must help with that part of the order.

A safety plan can also help to keep your child safe.

You May Also Need

CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario/Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
Peel Committee Against Woman Abuse (This resource is written for women in abusive relationships but might help anyone in an abusive relationship.)
Reviewed: August 31, 2017

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