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In Quebec, it is assumed that parental rights are shared. This means that natural parents have a right to consultation rights, decision-making authority, and joint responsibility when it comes to raising their children. Any court order involving custody must provide for the best interests of the children, which include the well-being, education, and health of the minor(s). Under Quebec law Civil Code of Quebec, CQLR c C-14, s 54, joint custody is determined by the court as per what is best for the child’s health and well-being. If a custodial order is not reached between the parties, or if a court order is needed, their provisions involving custody become the responsibility of the court system. Usually, the court will look at the situation from a variety of perspectives and ensure that both natural parents have the necessary means to provide for the child. Note that the court can also issue temporary or interim custody and parental rights decisions in order to protect the child’s safety and welfare until a final decision is reached.
In Quebec, there are certain entitlements when it comes to financial support and certain obligations that must be followed, such as those mandated by the Quebec Family Pension Plan Act, R.S.Q c L-12 s 155. This document states that any and all parents responsible for children 18 and under, must financially provide for their offspring, even in the case of shared custody. There is also a table of minimum financial compensation called the Tax Table. As this table sets the minimum base fees for both parents, the amount paid can be modified if requested by either party. In addition, any financial disputes that arise between the parties can be settled with mediation services.
Parents involved in a co-parenting situation must, in addition to child support, pay all costs related to the child or children. This means that co-parents can both contribute to any unforeseen medical costs, educational expenses, daycare payments, summer camps and trips, and anything else related to the child’s welfare. It should be noted that the terms regarding the sharing of expenses are made by mutual agreement between the two parties, unless otherwise specified by the courts. In addition, monies can be withheld in certain scenarios such as; when one parent fails to meet their obligations or when one parent fails to provide additional expenses as mandated in the support agreement. All of these matters can be taken to court and judgment will be weighed accordingly.
In Quebec, both natural parents are expected to make decisions that are in the best interests of the child regardless of their custody arrangements. This means that both parents have to agree on major and minor decisions that relate to the child’s welfare, such as their education, religious affiliations and choices, and even after-school activities. Decisions should be documented in a parenting plan or a co-parenting agreement. Only a lawyer can provide the parents with the necessary legal document that outlines details such as the parental billing cycle, permissible remittance amounts, as well as which parent is to invoice for child support payments. The document should also go into detail about the type of decisions that are permissible to be made jointly and which can be made on behalf of the child by the person responsible for their custody.
Over the course of their lives, children in Quebec may require access to both natural parents. This includes the right to visit with each parent and establish a meaningful relationship with both parties. The access rights of each parent are determined by the court and they are given corresponding rights and times of visitation. In some cases, parents may require mediation services in order to resolve conflicts between themselves. Mediation is an effective process whereby issues can be sorted out in a safe environment and a resolution can be reached without troubling the court system.
As co-parenting requires both natural parents to remain involved with the upbringing of their children after the dissolution or separation, it introduces a mix of legal rights, obligations, and mutual expectations that must be addressed in order to ensure a safe and healthy environment for their offspring. This blog post provided an overview of the provincial laws that regulate custody, parental rights, child support, visitation rights, and co-parenting expenses in the Province of Quebec. The various law codes that were referenced throughout this post should help parent’s understand the obligations and expectations that must be inherent for a successful co-parenting situation.
|Co-parenting in USA|
|New Hampshire||New Jersey||New Mexico||New York|
|North Carolina||North Dakota||Ohio||Oklahoma|
|Oregon||Pennsylvania||Rhode Island||South Carolina|
|Co-parenting in Canada|
|Alberta||British Columbia||Manitoba||New Brunswick|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||Northwest Territories||Nova Scotia||Nunavut|
|Ontario||Prince Edward Island||Quebec||Saskatchewan|
Warning: This post is neither financial, health, legal, or personal advice nor a substitute for the advice offered by a professional. These are serious matters, and the help of a professional is recommended as it can impact your future.