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Category: Canada Law
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Experience:  B.Ed., J.D., 25 years experience. Certified Family Law and Civil Mediator,
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In Ontario, what rights do unmarried mothers

Resolved Question:

In Ontario, what rights do unmarried mother''s have with regard to custody, care, and control of children born when she is not in a relationship with the father?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  CanLawyer replied 9 years ago.

Hi, Marilyn,

An unmarried mother's rights to custody, guardianship and parental rights and privileges are the same as a married woman's rights, and are governed by the Family Relations Act. You have full rights to claim custody, guardianship, and child support for your child or children.

Your local Bar Association has a list of lawyers who will give you 30 minutes of their time to advise you for a nominal sum.

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Customer: replied 9 years ago.
This answer did not address the issue I need information about. Perhaps my question was too fague.
My daughter just gave birth. The father has been avoiding any involvement throughout the pregnancy and is now claiming he can take the baby 50% of the time. They were never in a relationship and are not now.
What rights does she have to control his access to the baby? What rights can the father force her to comply with?
This issue is causing a great deal of pain for my daughter and we would greatly appreciate information that could relieve her fears.
Thank you.
Marilyn Flook
Expert:  CanLawyer replied 9 years ago.

Hi, Marilyn,

Thank you for the futher clarification.

In all probability, the baby will stay with the mother unless and until a Court says otherwise. He cannot take the baby without a Court Order.

What will probably happen is that custody will be granted to the Mother, and the father may be given some access, a few hours at a time, provided his access does not upset the mother and baby. The access does not have to occur at her residence. It could be arranged for a public place such as a shopping mall or fast food restaurant.

As the child grows older, the child's right to see his father will be recognized. Eventually, a shared parenting plan may be worked out so that indeed the father does get to see his child 50% of the time. But the baby is very young and fragile right now, and only needs his mother.

But the harsh reality is that the father will always be able to seek custody and access rights. The Courts will assist the father and child to bond because it is perceived to be in the child's best interests to know both parents.

Most of the time, this means that your child will later on get to visit him every second weekend plus a share of school and civic holidays.

The only ground upon which a father could take away a child from its mother would be if the mother were declared unfit. I doubt whether that is the case.

And it is a matter of child abuse to prevent a child from knowing his father.

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