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I have a 9 year old son who lives in Ontario with his mother…

Customer Question
I have a 9 year...
I have a 9 year old son who lives in Ontario with his mother and stepfather, since he was 3. I live in St. Albert, Alberta. My son wishes very much to move in with my wife and I, out here, but his mother is saying she will never allow this, until he is of legal age to leave on his own. My son is crying himself to sleep at night! My wife and I also have a good home, and while I feel we can offer a far better life than what he currently has, he is still well cared for, and has siblings....
My question is: is there any way in which my son can effectively express his desire legally, so that despite his mother's objections, he may still be granted the ability to live with us? How can I enable his move to take place sooner, rather than later on in years?
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Canada Law
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Answered in 34 minutes by:
6/9/2010
Lawyer: Debra, Lawyer replied 8 years ago
Debra
Debra, Lawyer
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debra thal :

No. He is not stuck there until he is an adult.

The law in Ontario and actually in all the provinces is that the Court will always make it's determination based on what it considers to be in the best interests of the child.

As the child gets older his wishes are given more and more weight.

There is no cut-off age of 12 in any province but this is a common misconception.

In all of the provinces except Ontario it's possible that the Court will make an Order against the child's wishes until the child reaches the age of majority. In Ontario at 16 the child, though not a legal adult, is free to live wherever he chooses.

In your case the Court would give you son's wishes some weight but as he gets older it would give his wishes considerable weight. It's generally considered to be in the best interests of a child for the child to live where he wants to but there's a concern about manipulation when the child is younger.

If your child is articulate it may be the case that your child should have his own lawyer.

Or it may be that you can request or seek an Order for a custody/access assessment. That is where a professional such as a psychologist or a social worker will get to know everyone and then make an assessment. Your child's voice will be hear. But, given the two provinces this may be difficult to carry out practically.

You should consider consulting with a family lawyer in Ontario.

What you can do to find a lawyer is one of the following things.

You can contact the Law Society and use their Lawyer Referral Service. You will be given the name of a lawyer and can consult with the lawyer and the first half hour will be free.

The number is:

1-800-268-8326

Or you can check on a site called lexpert. This is a legal directory of leading lawyers and law firms throughout Canada and is well-respected by the legal community.

Here's the link to their website:

http://www.lexpert.ca/Directory/DirectoryContent/FindLawyersOrFirm.aspx

Let me know if you need further clarification.

Customer:

This has been very helpful Debra, thank you! We just wanted to get an idea of how things really worked, and what would generally be involved...this answers those questions for us :)

Debra
Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
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Lawyer: Debra, Lawyer replied 8 years ago
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