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Matt Kesler
Matt Kesler, Researcher/Law Student
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 2734
Experience:  A year away from my J.D. and I've handled my own legal issues involving the business I own for years
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IN ONTARIO, WHAT IS THE LEGAL AGE A CHILD CAN DECIDE

Resolved Question:

IN ONTARIO, WHAT IS THE LEGAL AGE A CHILD CAN DECIDE TO GO WITH THE 'OTHER' PARENT FOR WEEKENDS AND SUMMER VACATIONS?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Matt Kesler replied 9 years ago.
There is no legal age in Ontario when the child has the right to make this choice. The custody decision is binding and can only be changed by the child with a court hearing filed by either parent to change the custody agreement.

Usually, it is very hard for these agreements to be changed simply because a child wants to live with the other parent more often. There often has to be a good reason (poor treatment/care by the custodial parent or something similar) to change the agreement.

In general, the older the child, the more weight given to their wishes in these proceedings. Twelve years of age seems to be a common turning point where their voice is heard more often but it really depends on the maturity of the child and other circumstances.

If the custodial parent is still the better home for the child the agreement will usually not change even if the child wants it to and one parent would have to request the change while the child is still under the legal guardianship of the parent/parents.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
DID NOT REALLY ANSWER MY QUESTION. IT WAS NOT ABOUT CHANGING WHERE THE CHILDREN LIVE, IT WAS ABOUT WEEKENDS AND SUMMER VACTIONS.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Matt Kesler's Post: DID NOT REALLY ANSWER THE QUESTION. IT WAS NOT ABOUT PERMANENT LIVING ARRANGEMENTS. MY CHILDREN 10 AND 14 DO NOT WANT TO GO EVERY TIME WITH THE FATHER. DO THEY HAVE TO?
Expert:  Matt Kesler replied 9 years ago.
Oh. Sorry I failed to read the question properly. That's completely my fault.

If the custodial agreement lays out specific weekends when your children are supposed to be with their father they legally have to.

However, if there is a good reason for them not to visit him so often you could contact the court and attempt to amend the visitation agreement. A good reason might be something as simple as the long ride to his home wearing them out or being someplace different so often disrupts their routine.

You'll want to contact an attorney to try and set up a custodial hearing but you do have to offer the children to the father on his appointed weekends/etc. now. He has the right to say they don't have to come as often but he has to be given whatever rights the custodial agreement laid out regardless of what the children want (Unless you believe they are in danger or it is in the best interest of the children not to go but you'll still want to contact an attorney before failing to provide the children to cover yourself).

They are still young enough that they are in your care so they cannot decide on their own to go against the custodial agreement. It must be revised for them not to visit as often or the father must elect to allow them not to visit as much on his own.
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