drone shot of the ambassador bridge over the detroit river

Cross Border Parenting Disputes

Because we live and work in a cross border community, we often see parents work together to make cross border parenting work. Cross border custody and access arrangements require cooperation and patience. This works for many parents. However, when a problem arises, which court has jurisdiction over children that live part of the time in two different countries?

The Children’s Law Reform Act R.S.O. 1990, c. C.12 (“CLRA“) provides 4 ways for a court to exercise jurisdiction in a parenting dispute in Ontario: 

  1. When a child is “habitually resident” in Ontario; 
  2. When a child is not habitually resident in Ontario, the court may exercise jurisdiction if the child is physically present in Ontario and all other requirements in paragraph 22(1)(b) of the CLRA are met; 
  3. When a child is present in Ontario and the child would, on a balance of probabilities, suffer serious harm under specified circumstances; or 
  4. In certain circumstances the Ontario court may exercise its parens patriae jurisdiction.

Jurisdiction disputes are expensive and time consuming. It is important to get legal advice right away. We are Canadian attorneys that handle custody and access disputes. If you have questions about your cross border child custody or access dispute, or cross border parenting plans, contact Windsor family law lawyers Tanya McNevin or Thomas MacKay today by calling 519-259-1820.   We serve clients in Windsor, Tecumseh, Lasalle, Essex, Leamington, Kingsville, Belle River and Lakeshore, and throughout southern Ontario.