Child Registration in school: Parents do not live in the same city, the child is in joint custody and parents do not agree on the choice of school. What to do?

When such a situation occurs, legal proceedings can be initiated to decide the issue.

Indeed, wether there is a custody judgment or not, whether they were married or common-law partners, both parents are holders of parental authority over their children, unless they have been deprived of. Note that even if a child is in the sole custody of one parent, the other parent, although he did not have physical custody of his child still has parental authority and should be consulted on all important matters regarding the child, including the choice of the school .

It is then up to both parents to jointly exercise parental authority over children and decide in particular to all matters of importance concerning religion, education, health, medical care, welfare being of children, etc. The parties must in any case consult and decide together on the most appropriate measures depending on the circumstances, and in the best interest of the child.

However, under Article 604 of the Civil Code of Québec, «In the case of difficulties relating to the exercise of parental authority, the person having parental authority may refer the matter to the court, which will decide in the interest of the child after fostering the conciliation of the parties».

Thus, the issue of school choice is an important issue and if the parents do not agree, one or the other parent may apply to the Superior Court of Québec in order that a judge decides which school the child will be registered, and always in the best interest of the latter.

A child is under the parental authority of his parents until his majority, 18 in Quebec, and decisions concerning children may be revised at any time by the Court, if the circumstances warrant it.

Text written by Me Virginie Damien