Ministère de la Justice
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Following a separation, parents must decide what kind of custody arrangement they will have for their child. Custody may be either sole or shared. Parents may enter into an amicable agreement with the help of a family mediator. However, if the parents are not able to come to an agreement, they may file a motion before the court, with the help of a legal advisor. A judge will then determine custody and access rights, if applicable. The interest of the child is the main criterion that the judge takes into account. However, other criteria concerning the child are also considered, in particular:
Some criteria concerning the parents are also taken into account, in particular:
A judgment may be reviewed in certain situations, for example, to comply with the child's wishes. Sole custody Child custody is considered sole custody when one parent assumes custody more than 60% of the time during the year. The non-custodial parent may then obtain access rights in order to preserve his or her ties with the child. Access rights are granted by a court decision. Access rights must be respected by both parents. Otherwise, a parent may, depending on the situation:
Parents may also avail themselves of family mediation to resolve their problems. Shared custody Child custody is considered shared custody if each parent assumes custody at least 40% of the time during the year. Child abduction and the organization or protection of access rightsThe Act respecting the civil aspects of international and interprovincial child abduction and the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction assist in locating and returning children who have been unlawfully taken or kept by a parent, whether abroad or in Québec. Thus, a parent whose child has been abducted can request assistance to have his or her child returned. Also, when a child moves with the custodial parent and maintenance of the other parent's access rights becomes difficult, the non-custodial parent can request the organization or protection of access rights. In cameraProceedings involving the awarding of custody or access rights are always held in camera; consequently, the public is not admitted to hearings and the identity of the persons concerned is not disclosed.
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