What factors must the court consider when determining whether a parent should be permitted to move with the child?

Ontario, Canada


The following excerpt is from Shewaga v Belfour, 2016 ONSC 5238 (CanLII):

Paragraph 19 of the decision in Gordon v. Goertz sets out other factors that the court must consider when the issue is whether a parent should be permitted to move with the child. Although the applicant attempted to frame her case as a mobility case, the court finds that this is not a mobility case. The court first must determine which of the parents is better able to provide for the child’s care and upbringing by applying the criteria set out in s. 20(4). At paragraphs 20, 21 and 24, the court set out guiding principles for determining the issues of custody and access. These included the principle that the ultimate and only issue when it comes to custody and access is the welfare of the child whose future is at stake; that the court should not take into consideration the past conduct of any person unless the conduct is relevant to the ability of that person to act as a parent; and that the court should give effect to the principle that a child should have as much contact with each parent as is consistent with the best interests of the child. At paragraph 28, the court stated that the child’s best interests are not merely “paramount”, they are the only consideration. The focus must be on the child’s interests, not the interests and rights of the parents.

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